Business Name...

Business By cattycornercakes Updated 24 Sep 2010 , 6:43pm by jason_kraft

cattycornercakes Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 15

So Ill try to make this long story short. Way back when I first started decorating cakes, I created a website to post pictures on. Everyone was calling me the cake lady, so I went with the-cakelady dot com. I stopped decorating for a while but then took a couple more classes and really got back into it about a year ago. At this point, I was hoping to eventually be able to operate as a business. I did a internet search and found there is someone in my area using the name cake lady so I started brainstorming names. I brainstormed for weeks. I was trying to come up with something rather unusual so I wouldnt have the problem of using a name someone else already had or would pick in the future. I came up with Catty Corner Cakes. My maiden name is Catt and I liked that it was a play on that and somewhat unusual. So I bought my domain name. This past spring, I found a commercial kitchen to rent and started the whole process to become legal. I finally got my license on 8/17. So today I just happened to do a google search on Catty Corner CakesI wanted to see how my website came up in the search. And I then come across someone using the same name for a blog they just started in August!

I know its not the end of the world but I just think its funny that I REALLY tried to find a somewhat unusual nameand someone else is using it for a blog. I have no idea if I can do anything about it. Im just afraid someone will google my business name, come across this blog and think its mine. The cakes she has on there are nice so maybe I shouldnt worrylol.

14 replies
myslady Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 3:00am
post #2 of 15

It's time to register your name with the state. Even though she just has a blog now, it could still cause problems down the road.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 4:01am
post #3 of 15

The blogger could be in a different state, so registering a trademark at the federal level would be a prudent course of action. Once the trademark is registered (not before) I would politely contact the blogger and ask her to change the name of her blog.

cattycornercakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 2:31pm
post #4 of 15

Thanks guys! At least that gives me some ideas of what I need to do. I forgot to mention, I do have an LLC under my business name...not sure if that helps me at all. I set this up back in June/July.

mayo2222 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 2:43pm
post #5 of 15

Registering your trade name does not protect the name from use by others. The right to use a trade name belongs to the one who first uses it in connection with their business.

Now since hers is just a blog its not really a competing business. You are selling cakes and she is talking about them. I think you are safe by operating under the name you selected.

Good luck!

scp1127 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:35pm
post #6 of 15

jasonkraft, first I want to say that you get a lot of harsh words from people who don't want to follow the law, but I do appreciate your knowledge and the fact that you don't lower yourself to personal attacks when you are attacked. Now... could you tell me the site to register a business name for a federal trademark? Thanks!

cattycornercakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:39pm
post #7 of 15

I just found out she's located in Rochester NH. I'm looking into registering my trademark. Thanks for all the info everyone.

GGFan Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:45pm
post #8 of 15

Good Luck cattycornercakes!!

Well said SCP1176. I totally agree with you icon_smile.gif

Jasonkraft, thank you for all your posting and answer to my PM. I really appreciate it.

cattycornercakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:50pm
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayo2222

Registering your trade name does not protect the name from use by others. The right to use a trade name belongs to the one who first uses it in connection with their business.

Now since hers is just a blog its not really a competing business. You are selling cakes and she is talking about them. I think you are safe by operating under the name you selected.

Good luck!




Mayo...she is actually selling cakes. I've gone through all the proper channels...created an LLC, health dept licensing, business license, etc to become a legal business. How do you prove who used it first for their business?

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:52pm
post #10 of 15

This site should walk you through the steps of registering a trademark:
http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/index.jsp

And here is a FAQ document:
http://www.uspto.gov/teas/TEASFAQsanswer.html

The cost is $275-325 per class of goods and services you want your trademark to cover, and the application process is not trivial so you may want legal assistance from a local IP attorney.

Of course, you'll want to weigh this cost against the risk of allowing the blogger to continue to operate under the existing name, as well as how long you anticipate being in this business and your plans for expansion. As mayo said you already have some degree of protection by having the first trade use of the name, but if you are in this for the long haul and plan on producing packaged goods with this name, the cost of hiring an IP attorney to file your trademark might be worth it.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 5:58pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cattycornercakes

Mayo...she is actually selling cakes. I've gone through all the proper channels...created an LLC, health dept licensing, business license, etc to become a legal business. How do you prove who used it first for their business?



According to the NH corporation search site she has not registered her name with the state, so your dated receipt from DE SoS should be ample proof. She may be running a home bakery business (which is legal in NH), in which case it would be difficult for her to come up with official evidence of her use of the name in trade, even if she was using it before you.

https://www.sos.nh.gov/corporate/soskb/csearch.asp

cattycornercakes Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:09pm
post #12 of 15

Jason..you are awesome! Thanks for all of the info icon_smile.gif

mayo2222 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:34pm
post #13 of 15

If they used the same name before you and are in the same trade I would say its a risky wager. You could trademark it before her, but all she has to do is show a receipt, website, etc with a date and she would have the first right. Remember, a trademark doesn't show first use of name.

Is she within a reasonable driving distance to you? That is are you in her market? If not, there is a case that even though you have the same/similar name, you wouldn't realistically be able to take business away from her due to the geographical limits typically associated with cakes (you really can't ship them)

scp1127 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:39pm
post #14 of 15

jasonkraft, thanks for the info. My business is a unique take on the bakery industry. That is why I don't talk about it too much. I need the trademark and just haven't done it yet. By the way, I like your site. I see you chose a less traveled path too, but in this market, making your own way and standing out is more important than ever.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:43pm
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayo2222

If they used the same name before you and are in the same trade I would say its a risky wager. You could trademark it before her, but all she has to do is show a receipt, website, etc with a date and she would have the first right. Remember, a trademark doesn't show first use of name.



The earliest date the blogger has on her web site is August 5th 2010, and OP registered her domain in Oct 2009, so she should be OK there.

Given OP's domain reg date and her SoS filing, I don't think a receipt from the blogger would carry much weight (it's very easy to fabricate a receipt), and in any case it would have to be before Oct 2009.

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