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Registering a “DBA” in California

Consider that when your company is conducting business under a name that is different from the entity name registered with the Secretary of State, this name is considered your “doing business as” name, or “DBA.” Because selecting a strong brand name takes time and effort, businesses may choose to form its formal business entity under one name, but ultimately choose a different name for its brand. DBA’s are also referred to as “fictitious business names,” but there is nothing fictitious about it. To the relevant target customer, the DBA is just as real as any other business name. And, just like other business names, DBAs must be registered with the county where the company’s principal place of business is located. A company planning to operate under a DBA is required to register its DBA within 40 days of commencing operations. Steps for Registering a DBA in California: (1) Determine whether the DBA is available by searching the applicable county clerk’s records However, before selecting a brand name that will be outwardly facing to customers and prospective customers, it is critical to first assess whether a proposed brand/DBA name is available from a legal trademark perspective, without a substantial risk of a challenge from someone else already using or claiming rights in the same or a similar name for the same or related products or services. As we discussed in connection with our blog post on the Importance of Trademark Clearance (https://evoke.law/importance-of-trademark-clearance/), the “financial costs of rebranding can be wide-ranging—pulling product from the market, disruption of the business, customer uncertainty, customer re-education, new marketing campaigns, revised product packaging, etc. Because...

Recommended Browsing: Evoke Law Essential Links

Not long ago, a business was judged by the strength of one’s Rolodex® entries. Twenty-first century business thrives on having the right online connections at LinkedIn®, Facebook® and other key sites. A critical aspect of practicing trademark and copyright law is reviewing the facts in the context of the law.  The Internet provides access to select facts in an amazing way. Consider The WAYBACK MACHINE at www.archive.org. A virtual treasure trove, “the Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a service that allows people to visit archived versions of Web sites. Visitors to the Wayback Machine can type in a URL, select a date range, and then begin surfing on an archived version of the Web.”  This site can be extremely useful when evaluating who was the first party to use a certain mark. More generally, Internet resources extend a professional practitioner’s capabilities. So in the World Wide Web spirit of sharing information, here are some key online intellectual property resources that we rely on at Shapiro Law. Trademark U.S. Trademark Office, official United States trademark headquarters TESS Trademark Electronic Search System  Search for issued registrations and pending applications ID Manual Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual TEAS Trademark Electronic Application System, the Web resource to apply for a U.S. trademark TMEP Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure TTAB Trademark Trial and Appeal Board TBMP Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure Law  The Lanham Act, CFR regulations, and other rules Directory of Intellectual Property Offices around the world World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Home of the Madrid System and other treaties and conventions. INTA International Trademark Association, an organization...
From DC connections to PC transformation

From DC connections to PC transformation

I am pleased to report that my time at the annual International Trademark Conference in Washington, DC was particularly successful. I met with trademark attorneys from many countries and was able to identify local counsel worldwide to efficiently and cost-effectively assist in the protection and enforcement of your marks throughout the world. Other important news this month is that our office is now a business entity, rather than a sole proprietorship. Announcing: MARY L. SHAPIRO LAW, PC (professional corporation). MLShapiro...