What Would You Do If Someone Took Your Business Name?

Business By dulcecakes Updated 3 Jan 2012 , 2:05am by dulcecakes

dulcecakes Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 9:01am
post #1 of 11

I have been in business for about 2 years and my name is pretty well established locally. I have a trademark application processing right now for my business name. A couple of months ago I started getting calls about another business that has opened using essentially the same name as me (I'm Dulce Cake Designs, they are Dulce Cupcakes.) I want to approach this person and ask them to stop using the name- they don't have any kind of trademark or even business licence, but I'm not sure how best to do it. I'm not trying to make any enemies, just protect my business name. What would you do?

10 replies
PennieK Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 9:28am
post #2 of 11

Honestly I don't think you have much of a case. Dulce is a very commen word, I did a search on Dulce Cakes and there are numerous bakeries that use Dulce in their name.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 12:39pm
post #3 of 11

The cheapest course of action would be to have your attorney draft a cease and desist letter, letting this other business know that you have been operating since X date and have a pending trademark application for the name. If they ignore the C&D you will have to pursue legal action, which may be expensive and you are not guaranteed results.

The fact that several bakeries have "Dulce" in their name does not necessarily mean you don't have a case, if a local bakery is causing confusion in the marketplace with a similar name that's a pretty strong point in your favor, especially considering your pending TM.

kakeladi Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 3:25pm
post #4 of 11

Jason's suggestion is probably the best but have you considered informing the health dept that they are operating & don't have any kind of business licence?

costumeczar Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 6:57pm
post #5 of 11

I'd just call them and tell them to please stop using the name, and that you'll have to pursue legal action if they don't. Trademarking the name will only go so far if there are other bakeries that have used the same name longer than you have, but that's a little too close for comfort to have someone in the same area using a similar name.

If she isn't licensed then having someone call her will probably put an end to it. If not, you can send the cease and desist.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Dec 2011 , 7:09pm
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by kakeladi

Jason's suggestion is probably the best but have you considered informing the health dept that they are operating & don't have any kind of business licence?

This could be done in addition to addressing the name issue (although health depts usually don't care about business licenses, only inspections), that way if the other bakery is operating legally or decides to become legal they won't keep using the same name.

loriemoms Posted 25 Dec 2011 , 7:25pm
post #7 of 11

to be honest, there isn t much you can do. If you are LLCd under the same exact name, then you would have a case.

clarita62 Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 4:44am
post #8 of 11

if they were using the same name then you would have a case but since the name is not exactly like your name there is really nothing you can do. its like when you get incorporated there are so many names that have many of the same names but at the same time dont and as long as its not the same they can register their name. its like if i wanted to name my business dulce by clarita its not the same.

1234me Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 2:38pm
post #9 of 11

are you located in the same town? If you feel your name is well established, then I wouldn't change it!

Jessicakes831 Posted 29 Dec 2011 , 6:39am
post #10 of 11

I think that you should contact that person if it is a really big deal to you but I think taking legal action is a bit extreme. After all, your names are not exactly the same. Dulce just means sweet. I don't think you should report them and get them in trouble because they're probably just trying to make some money... as are many of the bakers on CC. If they refuse, oh well. Just be a better baker and your reputation will be enough.

dulcecakes Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 2:05am
post #11 of 11

thanks for the imput everybody. the issue wasn't that we were competing but that people thought that we were the same company, so even if my product was better, my name was on their product too. I was able to successfully trademark the name "dulce" in idaho for companies selling desserts. I emailed the company and they sought legal council who told them that they had to change their name due to the trademark. they have started the process of changing their name. hopefully this will be the end of the issue. thanks again!

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