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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I have a home inspection company named Home Spectors and

Customer Question

I have a home inspection company named Home Spectors and been in business for 8 years. During that time I have grown into a multi-inspector firm. I am now concerned due to the company name was given to me by the guy I apprenticed under. He knows and has known I use the name and we talk on a regular basis as friends. We currently do not overlap markets but it is a possibility in the future. I own the company domain name, Facebook, twitter, etc.. I am also the only registered corporation by the name Home Spectors in the state. He has no input in my business and hasn't since completing the apprenticeship 7 years ago. My fear is that he owns the Trademark. Now that I am growing I am concerned he may one day want money because of using the name. Also, I have asked about buying the Trademark and he does not want to sell. Should I continue use or consider a new business name?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

You may want to consider changing your business name.

You can keep your corporate name, but adopting a fictitious name "DBA" to operate under so that you can continue to build your own customer base without fear that you are creating a potential overlap with this pre-existing trademarked name.

This is a business judgment call you are going to have to make, but there is a very real risk of potential costs in the future and as you are still growing your business it is worth considering changing up your tradename now (it is easier to alert your current customer base and send out promotional papers notifying them of your name change now, than it would be after you have grown larger and you are in a trademark dispute where you are fighting over customer bases with your former mentor).