LEG500 Assignment 5 - Running head RALLY ROUND THE TRADE...

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Running head: RALLY ROUND THE TRADE NAME 1 Assignment #5 – Rally Round the Trade Name Strayer University LEG500 – Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance June 10, 2011 Assignment #5 – Rally Round the Trade Name Explain Whether or Not the Fact that Gabby’s Surname Is Rally Gives
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RALLY ROUND THE TRADE NAME 2 Her the Right to Use It Any Way She Wishes The fact that Gabby’s surname is Rally, doesn’t give her the right to use the name any way she wishes, especially in commerce. There are no laws that state that a person has any right to a trade name purely based on the fact that it’s the person’s last name. In commerce, it makes no difference whether a person is using his or her real name—or any other name, for that matter. The issue is whether a person is infringing on someone's trade name. Trade name rights can be obtained either by: (a) common law, or (b) trade name registration (Beckman, 2009). Common law states that the person who first uses the trade name, in a specific geographical region for a specific business purpose has the exclusive rights to that trade name in that area for that purpose. Rights to a trade name can also be granted by being the first to register the name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or with the respective secretary of state. This type of registration bars anyone from using the registered trade name in the registering agency's jurisdiction after the date of registration. In this case, if the business name Rally is already legally acquired or registered as a trade name under common law or federal law by Rally Motors, then Gabby cannot use it as her business name. Infringing upon the trade name of another is unlawful and punishable, even if the trade name is the actual surname of an individual. Therefore, Gabby must be very careful while using her surname as a trade name for her company. Explain Whether or Not It Matters that Rally Is Associated with Pizza. It does not matter that Rally is associated with pizza. The reasons are as follows. First of all, two businesses that use the same trade name in the same market area can confuse people. The key is the name "Rally". In general, the trade name law, whether federal or state, will not forbid two unrelated businesses from using the same trade name so long as their coexistence creates no
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LEG500 Assignment 5 - Running head RALLY ROUND THE TRADE...

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