Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's In A (Trade) Name?

The New Jersey Supreme Court remanded to its Committee on Attorney Advertising an issue whether a trade name was vague and misleading. The petition for review of the committee's determination was filed by Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, P.C. The committee had concluded that the name violated New Jersey advertising rules. While the court here noted an "aversion" to the use of trade names by law firms, it remanded for a more complete record to help "resolve the critical issue of a First Amendment challenge to a Rule of Professional Conduct that reflects the Court's long-held and decided preference to adhere to the use of an attorney's name in the official designation of a law firm, subject to the exception for the use of trade names by 'not-for-profit legal services organizations'."

The committee is directed to "include a full explication of the pros and cons" of any resulting proposals for or against rule revisions. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2009/02/whats-in-a-trad.html

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Comments

I have a question about companies using misleading names and URL.

There is a dog breeder that has always (in the 6 years I have been tracking) come up #1 in Google for the search term 'Labradoodle', even though there are bunches of more useful and informative sites. This has always puzzled me. Today I figured out why.

If you type in http://anywordsatatall.labradoodles.com, their site comes up. This means EVERY kennel name that someone puts in gets pointed to their site. I don't even know what internet wizardry they pulled off to do this, but I think is is misleading that someone can type in my kennel name, or anyone else's, and get directed to their site.

Can you tell me if what they are doing is likely to be permissible?

Thanks,
Helene

Posted by: Helene | Mar 11, 2009 8:43:43 AM

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