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Thread: legal question for all the law buffs out there

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    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default legal question for all the law buffs out there

    so my friends and i are party organizers and over the weekend we have come up with a name for our new line of parties and thought it was a grand idea...

    later on we have googled to find out that someone else is using the same name for a party in another country...

    so my friends and i have been trying to figure out whether or not this has any trademark/copyright legality behind it...

    now from what it looks like - they seem to just have a website but doesn't really look like there is a company behind their idea...

    the question is...would this be like using "McDonalds" and getting in trouble or would it be different if the company does not have a base in your own country?

    any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Depends on trademark laws in your country. Your best bet is to get some local law advice... even a real lawyer in America won't be able to answer that question definitively.

    My gut reaction is that you should be ok as long as you're not mimicking their look (avoiding international copyright law), but I'm completely unqualified at best.
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    There are reciprical trademark/ intellectual property laws. For a trademark to be fully protected outside its home jurisdiction, it usually has to be registered locally. Even before you hire a lawyer, you can probably snoop around the local government office that handles intellectual property registrations to see if they have filed anything in your country.

    I would then recommend approaching a local lawyer to help you establish the intellectual property in your name. The foreign filing costs are not high, so some businesses have a policy of filing for legal protection everywhere, others only file in places they do business, and some only file at "home".

    While I'm not an IP lawyer, on many of my projects I get to see their "handiwork." I've got a binder on my desk right now with a list of every country that a particular trade name is registered, including foreign language equivalents.
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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    This is straight from an intellectual property lawyer's mouth not more than 2 minutes ago. "Unless he has a well established business, tell him to change his name to something original and unique." He added, "The laws don't really matter. Fighting someone over their own name is a giant waste of time, money and energy. If companies bothered to do their research when starting out, they would save themselves a lot of trouble."

    "So change the name?" I asked.

    "YES!"

    EDIT: by "him," he meant you, Belli. You just found out that someone had your good idea before you did. Move on to your next good idea and leave the guy alone.
    Last edited by Los Angeles; 05-25-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    I have nothing to add about the legal question.

    But, does "party organizer" mean a political movement, or someone who buys the keg and slides the furniture over against the wall?
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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I have nothing to add about the legal question.

    But, does "party organizer" mean a political movement, or someone who buys the keg and slides the furniture over against the wall?
    Putnam,
    Those can be one and the same!
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  12. #7
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    What if he kept the name but included his country in the name to differentiate from the the other guys?

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    What if he kept the name but included his country in the name to differentiate from the the other guys?
    I'd still lean heavily on the lawyer's opinion.

    The answer to your question is "Sorta, probably, maybe.... but why?"

    The important part of the advice LA shared was the 'established business' part. If Belli had already established his business and then noticed this potential conflict then he'd want to go into damage control but do everything he could to keep his established business' identity and stay away from a future conflict as much as possible.

    But starting from scratch... might as well just stay away from it at the beginning and never let it get to that point.

    Especially since it seems this other business is right in line with what his business will be doing.

    ...IMHO...
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    thanks for the feedback guys. so it is pretty much what we thought it would be...we are not really looking at keeping things too small/local so in the end it might bite us if we do go big/multinational later on...

    as for Putty's question...its not house parties we organize...they're in the clubs..hence no kegs, furniture nor politics involved...then again the only politics is managing the night life mafia and keeping them at bay...but thats another topic

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    Edge of Reason GO!!!!!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    so when do we get to hear the name so we can all cast our Judgment on if we think it's a grand idea for a name....


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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by GO!!!!! View Post
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    so when do we get to hear the name so we can all cast our Judgment on if we think it's a grand idea for a name....
    we were going to focus on house music so we were going to call it "Viva la house!"

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  21. #12

    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    What LA said.

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by btowncolt View Post
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    What LA said.
    I'm sure btown had 'Nam (law school) flashbacks when he clicked on this thread...the horror, the horror.

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    WE HAVE TO GO BACK

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    .....to IZMIR!!




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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Um, you said you checked and found a website? Did you check to see if they thought to trademark their name/business? Owning a domain name is not registering a trademark. You might beat them to the punch and establish yourselves with the name first.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Um, you said you checked and found a website? Did you check to see if they thought to trademark their name/business? Owning a domain name is not registering a trademark. You might beat them to the punch and establish yourselves with the name first.
    nope we haven't done that cause basically its something like a festival and DJs that play there will probably end up getting it confused/etc if we use the same name...so we're just going to go with another name and build our own image from the ground up...

  31. #18

    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    There's some good suggestions in the "name Adam" thread. If he doesn't take Beefarini or MarbleRye, those names are right there for you...

  32. #19
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    I'd suggest a name like "Hot Chicks, Bikini Contest, and Free Beer"

    That will look good on the marquee and draw a crowd too!
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I'd suggest a name like "Hot Chicks, Bikini Contest, and Free Beer"

    That will look good on the marquee and draw a crowd too!
    That got me into Gilley's in Vegas. With a sign like this, even my ex wanted to go in!

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  35. #21
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Um, you said you checked and found a website? Did you check to see if they thought to trademark their name/business? Owning a domain name is not registering a trademark. You might beat them to the punch and establish yourselves with the name first.
    That's one way to look at it, but the more important way to look at it is if you get some buzz, people will constantly go to this other guy's website. Why encourage people to accidentally go to a competitor's site? Original and unique. And with an available ".com".
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    well we already have a main site for our promotion company so we aren't really looking for another .com affair but yea overall when people google we want our brand to appear and not anyone elses

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Um, you said you checked and found a website? Did you check to see if they thought to trademark their name/business? Owning a domain name is not registering a trademark. You might beat them to the punch and establish yourselves with the name first.
    yup - they have not registered a trademark...which means we might actually go ahead with it...

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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    yup - they have not registered a trademark...which means we might actually go ahead with it...
    This is a terrible idea.

    Don't you want to have fun with your business? Wouldn't you rather organize parties instead of bickering with some guy out there over something as stupid as a name?

    Don't you want people to find YOU on the web, not that other guy?

    Follow the advice of a real $500/hour intellectual property lawyer, whose opinion I asked as a favor to you. Choose a different name.
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    Default Re: legal question for all the law buffs out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    This is a terrible idea.

    Don't you want to have fun with your business? Wouldn't you rather organize parties instead of bickering with some guy out there over something as stupid as a name?

    Don't you want people to find YOU on the web, not that other guy?

    Follow the advice of a real $500/hour intellectual property lawyer, whose opinion I asked as a favor to you. Choose a different name.
    Once again thanks for that free advice, I appreciate it. Here is the thing though, this is not something i'm in by myself - we are a group of 4 and the other guys are really stuck on this name and are hating anything else we come up with.

    This is just going to be a name for one of the parties we throw - it will not be the brand of our group/image - we have another name and a website for that - in other words this is something like "ladies nights" - and i'm pretty sure people don't go around saying that "ladies nights" is mine!

    We will be organizing this party for a small club with a capacity of 300 people in Budapest, Hungary. The other guy out there is in UK. He doesn't even have .com site...his is .co.uk showing that he is only in the UK market.

    To be blunt it will take us a couple of years to actually receive such a following where people outside of Hungary will know about us...

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