So here’s a sticky situation that is occurring more and more often: A new Virtual Assistant enters the scene and proudly announces her new business name to the world. Problem is, it is identical or nearly identical to the business name of an established Virtual Assistant.
Your business name is an important and valuable asset. It helps creates a unique and distinctive identity of your business in the marketplace. It helps facilitate brand name awareness and word-of mouth advertising. When someone copies your name or uses a derivative, it creates confusion and unfair competition. Whiles registering your tradename affords you the greatest rights and recourse, it’s not the only way to exercise your rights and protect your turf. There are common law protections as well. You do, however, have to actively protect your name or you lose the right to lay claim to it. It therefore becomes necessary for you to keep a vigilant eye open for infringements of this nature. The eyes and ears of your colleagues can be critical in this effort.
But forget legalities for the moment. Let’s look at this from a moral and ethical standpoint. Sometimes this is difficult, but it becomes less so when you first ask yourself the question: “How would I feel if it were done to me” or “How would I feel if that happened to me?”
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
1. Would you be upset if a new Virtual Assistant starting using your business name? Why or why not?
2. If you saw a new Virtual Assistant using a VA friend or colleague’s business name, would you say something to that new Virtual Assistant? Why or why not?
3. Would you let a colleague know if you saw a new Virtual Assistant using their established business name or a close enough derivative of it to be confusing? Why or why not?