16. December 2010 09:28
In New York, a small business owner is in dispute over the name of his store. The name in question? Chocolate Library. His choice in name has been rejected over the idea that it will confuse or mislead people into thinking it was an actual library. A law in New York since 2006 states that the commissioner for education must be consented for use of the word "library" among other words in a certificate of incorporation or company name.
Curious, I checked Westlaw for this law. Within the Westlaw Directory I selected U.S. State Materials, then I did a search for New York. I selected New York Statutes Annotated (NY-ST-ANN). I did a natural language search: commissioner of education consent to company registration name library. The third result down gave me the following explanation:
Effective January 1, 2006, an LLC may not use words, such as “school,” “education,” “college,” “university,” “museum,” “arboretum,” “historical society,” “library” or other term restricted by Section 224 of the Education Law, or any abbreviation or derivative of any such word, in its name without the consent of the Commissioner of Education. This provision is subdivision (i) of Section 204. In addition, Section 216 of the Education Law was simultaneously amended by adding an undesignated paragraph which provides that a company (which would include an LLC) may not knowingly use, advertise or transact business with the word “museum” or “arboretum” in its name unless authorized by special charter or the Board of Regents. An LLC that had been using either “museum” or “arboretum” in its name prior to the January 1, 2006 effective date of this provision had until December 31, 2006 to obtain the requisite consent to use such word. A violation of Section 204(i) would be a misdemeanor.
(Links require Westlaw login credentials. From: McKinney's Limited Liability Company Law § 204)
Read the article here from the New York Times.
What do you think? Should the State Education Department have the right to consent over names of corporations or companies? Comment below!