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montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 328
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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Our company is Allen Credit and Debt Counseling Agency (www.acdcas.com).

Customer Question

Our company is Allen Credit and Debt Counseling Agency (www.acdcas.com). We have been doing some marketing research and found another company (A PayDay Loan Conduit Company) is using our name see link below. Do we have any legal options to ask them to stop using our name?

Link: http://quickcashpaydayloan.tripod.com/49OnlineNoFax/Alan.Credit.Debt.Counseling.html
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  montysimmons replied 4 years ago.

Give me some time to fully review the issue. Should not take long.

 

I am still thinking.

 

Note that this website is very fishy. It is using fake Trust Marks and Seals ( the Norton / McAfee / COMODO / etc.)

 

The "seals" at the bottom of the page are only images, not links/seals. A real "seal" is a link to more information.

 

 

Sites using Fake or Fraudulent Trust Marks and Seals are key indicators of a Scam Site.

 

 

This site is also a "Do-It-Yourself" site through Tripod. And just about every link on the site links back to the same site.

 

 

I am thinking this site is a scam to get one's financial information.

 

 

LOL, under "Banking Information"

 

"Length of Account" --- the answer is in "Year" . . . Perhaps they mean something like "How Long Account Has Been Active"

 

Very fishy . . . as if created by someone that does not understand English very well.

 

Let me check some more.

 

 

 

 

Expert:  montysimmons replied 4 years ago.

Do you own any IP such as a trademark in the name?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We own www.acdcas.com, we don't have the name Trademarked, we are registered in the State of South Dakota. I would imagine if its a scam site there isn't much we can do?

Expert:  montysimmons replied 4 years ago.

I was afraid of that. I searched the USPTO trademark data base and there are no registered marks similar to “Allen Credit and Debt Counseling Agency”.

 

If a name is XXXXX XXXXX there is not much one can do to stop another from using such name. And if the other entity is a scam website the situation is even more difficult, except, you could try to expose the scam.

 

I have already submitted a request for Norton/Symantec to investigate this site’s use of the VeriSign seal. If such site is a scam perhaps Symantec/Norton will be able to do something.

 

If the site is legitimate, then a good strategy would be to:

 

(a) Find out who owns the site and if you know these people or have any business dealing with them;

 

(b) Try to find out who used the name first;

 

(c) (if applicable) Try to find evidence that the other party knew you and that you were already using the name before they did;

 

(d) If your company/service are well known they you have other possible actions as noted below.

 

If you know you used the name first, before you approach the owner of the other site, you should consider filing a trademark application.

 

Even without a trademark, if your services or goods are widely known, one may have grounds for a suit via the concept of “passing off”.

 

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_off

 

After/if you file a trademark application, you will be in a better position to send letters to the site owner and try to resolve the dispute.