Namesake businesses are an ongoing and heated point of contention in trademark law, especially in the arts and fashion industries, but law firms are not immune from these disputes either.
A prominent Chicago law firm, O’Keefe Lyons & Hynes (OLH) which was founded in 1937, filed a trademark infringement suit against a small suburban firm, the O’Keefe Law Firm which was founded in 2012. Both firms take their names from their founding attorneys, practice in the area of property tax appeals, and have similar website domain names based on the O’Keefe name.
Although OLH only filed to register its trademark in May 2017, its longstanding use in commerce and superior common law rights will bolster its arguments of infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, consumer fraud and unjust enrichment.
Source: ABA Journal