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A Rose By Any Other Name...
Posted 26 August 2003 - 04:12 AM
i am starting out on a new venture and setting up a website for it. i plan to offer internet-related services. now the catch is that the name of my company ( and URL) sounds suspiciously like that of an existing site/company, even though i never knew of its existence earlier.
hypothetically , say my company is called "XtoZ" , the other company is called "X2Z" and we have similar domains too i.e., X-to-Z.com and X2Z.com respectively. so the only difference between us is the numeral 2. however, even though we both offer internet related services, the nature of services is somewhat different. while they are facilitators between clients and IT service providers online, we would be directly offering web services to clients.
what i would like to know is - will there be any legal issues in the future because my site sounds so much like theirs? also, since we both would be targetting similar clients, will i end up looking like a me-too site and losing out on some some prospective clients in the process ?
i know this has been a long post, but im hoping for a couple of thoughts from all of you !! ( beginners luck)
Posted 26 August 2003 - 08:29 AM
Even if no legal issues, do you really want all the confusion associated with this?
Since it's early in the game, you may want to research a new name right now and start fresh. If you make it big, you won't want to change then. Do it now, before it's too late!
Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:01 PM
The expanding Joes may argue that since they were in operation first (for example) and their name is Joe, that they should have the rights to it. The local company will point out that they have a local market and the other guy will be taking unfair advantage of the goodwill, not to mention that they were there first and are also named "joe".
Although there are exceptions, the local guy usually wins. In North America, a fast food restaurant called Burger King is fairly popular. A city to the north of mine has a mom and pop store called Burger King there. The huge multinational franchise has no stores in this city and no right to put them in. They have to buy the rights to the name from the mom and pop store and haven't done so.
Online, it's more difficult, ( the local guy is usually the one who started the site first) so the usual advice is to try to get a different name. You can also keep the name and just make certain that there is no confusion between the 2 sites by using very different designs and so forth.
I agree with Jill that you are better off finding a different name if possible. What happens if the other guys do something bad and you get the stigma for it? And being sued sucks even if you win in the end.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:01 PM
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