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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Church Names

Volume 2 . Chapter 6 . § 6-05
Key point 6-05. A church name is a valuable property right that is protected by the legal principle of unfair competition. Protection also is available under federal trademark law.

Occasionally, a new church will acquire a name that is so similar to the name of another church in the same community that public confusion is likely to result. For example, a new congregation calling itself Calvary Presbyterian Church establishes a church in a community already having a Presbyterian church called "Calvary Church." A confusion of names may occur in other ways, such as a new sect or religious denomination acquiring a name similar to that of an existing one, or a local church withdrawing from a denominational organization but continuing to employ a ...

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