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Can I use the same name?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Oregon

My question is this : I want to start a small company and I am dead set on a name. There is another company in this state that has the same name but they are 160 miles away from my location. I would not be advertising in their area or infringing in any way. Is it legal for me to use the same name that they have. The company in question is a small residential painting company.

Thanks for your help.


As a small business owner who is now going through enforcing trademark rights to a name, I would suggest that you think about a new business name to run under.

Even though you are "dead set" on this company name, realize that the existing company probably felt the same way. Even if the name is not a registered trademark, it is a common law or acrued use trademark, which is protected in most if not all states against infringement and the like, it is also protected under some federal trademark statutes. This is definately the case if the two business perform the same or similiar services. You are also in the same basic geographic location, which in all honesty could cause confusion to customers. Keep in mind that the existing company doesn't usually have to prove that confusion has already happened, all they have to do it prove that there is just cause to believe it will happen.

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