Promoting your business with an easily identifiable moniker – or URL, as they’re commonly called – is a nice idea. But don’t try using that URL for your name.
The court’s likely going to turn you down.
While using your life or family to promote your business or your political aspirations is generally considered poor form, the courts have indicated recently that it’s also probably not legal.
New Jersey native Robert Edward Forchion, as he’s still known despite his best efforts, was recently denied his request for a name change.
Forchion, a marijuana legalization activist, tried unsuccessfully for the second time to change his name to “NJWeedman.com,” after a website he created. He filed this request in California, where he now lives, after a similar request was turned down by a New Jersey court in 2001.
The court gave two reasons for its decision:
- First, the name change would associate Forchion’s legal name with a site that promotes illegal activities, which shouldn’t be allowed, and
- While a person’s name (usually) sticks forever, a URL could be changed or lost, which could make people confused if the domain was later owned by someone else.
However, if Forchion is intent on naming himself after a website, he could try moving to Egypt, where earlier this year, a father named his newborn daughter “Facebook” to honor the role social networking sites played in the country’s revolution.
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