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University sued for trademark infringement to change its name

If you are starting a new business in Florida, or renaming your existing company, one important step you need to take is to make sure that a competitor does not already use that name. If another business uses a name that is the same or similar to the one you want to use, the safest thing you can do is think of different, unique name. Otherwise, the other company might sue you for trademark infringement.

For an example of an organization that apparently was not careful enough with its naming process, we turn to Pennsylvania, where a university will soon be changing its name for the second time since April 2015. The school, currently known as Summit University, had to give up that title after the operators of a Montana university, also known as Summit University, sued for trademark infringement, The Abington Journal reports.

Ironically, the Summit University of Pennsylvania took on that name after changing its name from Baptist Bible College and Seminary. The school’s vice president for communications and external relations admitted the school knew there already was a Summit University, but school officials concluded at the time that there would be no chance of confusion between the two schools. This despite the fact that both organizations are post-secondary universities with a focus on religion.

The PR executive promised that his school would do “the right thing” after consulting with trademark and intellectual property attorneys. A board of trustees meeting was scheduled for Jan. 25, during which the board was expected to discuss changing the name yet again.

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