Jump directly to the Content

Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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

Church Names

§ 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 name associating itself with the denomination. In any of these situations, does the preexisting church body have any legal basis for stopping ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Table of Contents

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.