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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Is there a problem if I use the same logo from my old

Customer Question

is there a problem if I use the same logo from my old company I sold to my partner, that I designed, for my new company in a new state. Both are general contractor businesses and both are S corps. Would only change the state name on the logo. Shirts, sweatshirts, hats, letter heads, return letter labels, etc. would look the same except for the state and license number.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

When you sold the business you sold all intellectual property of the business, including the logo. This means that any use of the logo, regardless of whether you changed the name, would be use of intellectual property that no longer belongs to you. It's no different that if you took Coca Cola's logo and replaced Coca Cola with your name. Unfortunately, this is not permissible.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The logo is a saw blade with the company name on the inside spelled out and the abbreviated three letters of the company name in the center. On the bottom of the logo inside the blade is where the state is different.Because I am in a different state I checked to see if the name was available and it was so I am using the same name. They only do business in California and for that matter on Catalina Island. I am in Portland, OR. does any of this matter? If not do colors make a difference? Font styles? We both have the same name so how much different does it have to be to be allowable?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
02
The logo is a saw blade with the company name on the inside spelled out and the abbreviated three letters of the company name in the center. On the bottom of the logo inside the blade is where the state is different.Because I am in a different state I checked to see if the name was available and it was so I am using the same name. They only do business in California and for that matter on Catalina Island. I am in Portland, OR. does any of this matter? If not do colors make a difference? Font styles? We both have the same name so how much different does it have to be to be allowable?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I think it's a very bad idea to use the same name as the business you sold. It doesn't matter if the business you sold only operates in CA--if a customer could reasonably confuse your business with the one you sold, then you are capitalizing off of the good will of the business you sold, which you are not allowed to do.

As for the logo, you should not be using any of the artwork. Just create something new. Again, you are walking into a lawsuit. Put yourself into the shoes of the other party here. If you bought a business and then you found out that the previous owner was using the same or a substantially similar logo with the same name, what would your reaction be? There is no need to be so close to the name and logo of your old business. You are asking for trouble if you do, and that trouble is so easily avoided by using another name and logo.

I realize this may not be what you want to hear, but it is an honest answer to your question, which is what you deserve.

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