What if Someone Else is Using Your Nonprofit’s Name?

If you discover that someone else is using your nonprofit’s name without your consent, you have several choices. If you have registered your name as a federal trademark, then you have full legal rights to it. You will more easily be able to prove that you are the owner of the name. If you want the other person to stop using the name of the trademark, you have some choices.

  1. First, you can ask them to stop. You can send a letter or email letting them know that you have rights to the nonprofit’s name. This will let them know that you are asking that they no longer infringe on your trademark.
  2. Second, you can ask for their assets. This option involves asking them to transfer any web accounts, including all forms of social media, that involve your nonprofit’s name to you. 
  3. Finally, you can hire a lawyer. If your request is not successful, you can hire an attorney to send a formal legal notice for you. Our firm has been quite successful with these notices as a means of compelling people to stop using our client’s intellectual property and having them transfer the accounts back to our clients. 

Oftentimes, the first option is the easiest. By simply letting the person know that you are the registered federal trademark owner, this is enough to discourage someone from challenging your legal ownership of the name.

As has been noted, there are a lot of benefits to owning the name of your nonprofit.  My firm has handled nonprofits and their names successfully throughout the country. However, the process can be overwhelming if you are a first-time nonprofit owner. Above all else, it is important to hire an experienced attorney with a specialization in nonprofits. By doing this, you can guarantee that you are protecting your rights and protecting your trademark. If you have any questions about protecting the name of your nonprofit, call Chisholm Law Firm to get the help you deserve!


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