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Does a similar business name invite an infringement lawsuit?

It appeared that the Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide network, one of the five "Big Five" accounting firms, was recently poised to rise from the ashes after the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals. The network even announced its reconstitution under the company name of Arthur Anderson, although the legal name of the partner is MoHala Enterprises d/b/a Sundial Consulting. However, the announcement proved premature.

As background, 23 former Andersen partners formed a new firm, Andersen Tax, after the original company's demise. After MoHala Enterprises made its announcement, Andersen Tax filed a trademark infringement lawsuit. Not surprisingly, Andersen Tax anticipated consumer confusion, and possibly economic damages, if MoHala Enterprises were allowed to call itself Arthur Andersen.

Notably, many former executives of the original Big Five firm showed their public support for Anderson Tax. That may have influenced the settlement reached between the parties. The specific terms of the deal are confidential, but it appears that MoHala Enterprises agreed to refrain from using the terms Andersen or Arthur Andersen in its business dealings.

Our California law firm focuses on intellectual property law. Although it may seem small, a company's brand name is vitally important to its financial success. Consumers associate all sorts of qualitative judgments with a brand name, which is why our attorneys will work so hard to protect a company's federal and/or state trademarks, trade names and service. We have the experience to build a strong case for court, and the aggressive advocacy needed to fight for the best outcome.

Source: Accounting Today, "'Reconstituted' Arthur Andersen closes U.S. offices amid trademark infringement suit," Michael Cohn, April 20, 2017

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