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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3299
Experience:  30 years of experience
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If I am understanding correctly, the phone number associated

Customer Question

If I am understanding correctly, the phone number associated with our business would be considered "trade dress" ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are the penalties that can be imposed?
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

I see that you are looking for a phone consult. I can do that or we can chat here.

There is a small additional charge for the phone call. I will post an offer and if it is acceptable click on the accept button and input your phone number where indicated.

Or if you prefer we can continue posting.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll just continue with the online - that way I have writing to refer back to if I have questions later on about our conversation
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in a community of less than 5,000. The local telephone company ran out of 631 # ***** had to add 632# ***** that is why my competitor had the option (that did not previously exist because I had purchased the number 2020) to change his number to conveniently mirror my business' phone number. My practice has 3 doctors and we are open full time. His practice has only had 1 doctor 3 days a week and has now built a new building. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that his intentions are malicious.
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Okay. That's good.

First of all Trade Dress is protected under both federal trademark law, state trademark laws, and state fair business practices laws.

If your competitor is engaging in business practices designed to confuse the public as to your business versus their business (i.e. acting as if they are you), then they may have engaged in conduct that violates these laws.

Whether or not using a phone number alone is sufficient evidnce of a trade dress violation is difficult to say. I am not aware of any cases that discuss that by itself. Rather the cases generally focus on the entire presentation of one business' product or service in comparison to the other. Also these cases are difficult to prove because sometimes certain elements of a business are just too generic to warrant protection.

If you were able to prove that the other business is engaging in unfair business practices you would be entitled to damages. There are different types of damages.

These include actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages. Also the law provides for the reimbursement of attorneys fees. Most attorneys who do this work will meet with you to make an initial assessment of your case at little or no cost. Since attorneys fees are reimbursable to you, it would be wise to at least make a couple calls.

This link can help you find an attorney:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/trademarks/minnesota

Here is a link to the law:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=325d&view=chapter

I hope the information I have provided is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I do mean to say that your description of events does raise a very reasonable argument of unfair trade practices.

I recommend that you do seek counsel to discuss bringing an action.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 1 year ago.

If you have any further questions please let me know. Sometimes this is not the best form of communication and I may have missed something that you wanted covered.

If you are satisfied please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

Have a pleasant evening.

Kind regards,

Gerald