Question...so far I have not really done anything to "copyright" (or whatever) my business name. The only official thing I have on my name is a DBA (doing business as) because I consider myself self employed, and I got a bank account in my business name which is "Cakes by Suzy".
Just today found another cake place in PA with the same exact name, same exact website name, but different spelling of the name. I already bought two other domains with alternate spellings of my name but obviously this one was not available for me to buy.
I don't suppose there is anything I can do to make my business name a little more exclusive in my state? With the two different spellings, I suppose we both have the right to name our business that name...right?
I would read through the below article, I think it should help answer some of your questions.
I take it a DBA is not the same as a trademark?
You don't necessarily have to have an actual trademark to have rights over a name/mark, but it does give you more recourse and stronger protection of your name.
Normally it is the person who first uses a certain name that has the stronger rights to a name, even if they don't have it trademarked.
In your situation you are under a very similar name, in the same business, in the same geographical area and they were using the name first- correct? Now you could continue to operate under your business name, but should they ever find out they try to enforce their rights it is highly likely you would lose.
HTH and makes sense