I have an approved federal trademark for "Entrepreneur University" (anonymous name for web privacy) and we have an LLC registered in the state under Camac & Associates LLC.
We filed for a DBA for "Entrepreneur University" and the Corporation Bureau said we needed approval from the Dept. of Education.
The Dept. of Education declined the use of the name "Entrepreneur University" and stated as their reason: "The reason for rejection is that it does not comply with 24 Pa. Code § 6503 (a)."
Are we still allowed to operate our business using the name "Entrepreneur University"?
No, and the Department of Education has explained why to you as you post above. Only a registered university can call itself a university, and to permit otherwise would be to condone a deceptive business practice.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Just because you have a federal registration, that doesn't mean you're free and clear from all issues of law at the state level. The fact that a mark is registered doesn't mean the use of it is exempt from any claims that it may violate a state law with regard to unfair competition or deceptive business practices. Your best bet is to address this issue with a business attorney licensed in PA.
I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not establish an attorney-client relationship. www.PatchogueAttorney.com You should not rely upon free legal advice and I disclaim any liability for the results if you do.
This is actually a common scenario. I would go no further until you have discussed it all with counsel. In many cases, you can get the name approved through the SoS with a proper response to the Dept. of Ed. Many of our clients have had rejections such as this that were able to be worked out.
But assuming that was not possible, then no, PA is telling you that you cannot use that name to represent your business there. This does not affect your trademark rights to the name as they relate to the good or service you filed within, but it is certainly possible to possess a trademark that does you no good practically speaking.
Again, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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