What’s in a name? Startup lesson 3
With apologies to Will Shakespeare:
One of the first thing a start-up needs to decide up front is the name! Naming your company or your firm is critical, especially when you are in a service industry. The name is your brand. Since I have a considerable trademark practice and worked for twenty years in a consumer products company, I know it’s “All About the Brand.” So choosing a name for my new firm was an exciting opportunity for me to BRAND both the firm and myself.
I brainstormed with my friends and we came up with lots of ideas: Garden State Patents, Garden State IP, Pat’s Patents, and more crazier ones. I searched and found that these names were available. Most were not exactly distinctive, not fanciful, arbitrary or suggestive. However, they seemed to be different from other law firms. That caused me to ask whether lawyers were unimaginative (possibly) or perhaps there was a rule. In addition to having a special license to file patent applications, I am licensed to practice law in New Jersey and New York. I was going to form a New Jersey firm, so I checked out the rules for good old NJ.
The long standing rule against using a tradenames for law firms was changing. Names had to be “accurate, descriptive and informative, but not misleading, comparative or suggestive of the ability to obtain results . . .” was decided in 2013. However RPC 7.5 still said “. . .the name under which a lawyer or law firm practices shall include the full or last names of one or more of the lawyers in the firm or office . . .”
I will be honest, I was trying to avoid using WERSCHULZ in the firm name, not because I am trying to hide or that I am not proud of the name I took 42(!) years ago when I married. WERSCHULZ is just so darn hard to spell. wershulz werschutz, worschutz, the wrong combinations are endless. However, I did feel free to add PATENT in there, patents being my primary area of practice, my special license and my passion.
So WERSCHULZ PATENT LAW, LLC was registered and open for business July 1, 2014. I am trying to build the brand along with WPLLLC, which are the initials combined with LLC.