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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    2

    Red face Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    My question involves business law in the state of: NC

    I am starting a national association for people who teach a new biological science called German New Medicine or GNM. I have already discovered these terms are not copyrighted in the US. "German New Medicine" is copyrighted in Germany only.

    The US copyright was not renewed and ran out in 2015 and it was only for "German New Medicine" not for "GNM." The physician who discovered GNM died in 2017.

    Those of us who consult with GNM walk a fine line so we can't be accused of "practicing medicine." Most of us are holistic practitioners such as nutritionists, non-medical naturopaths, and herbalists.

    My challenge is with the name of my association because I don't want to be misleading or have people draw conclusions that we practice medicine.

    I've been advised by a paralegal not to use the full term of "German New Medicine" because that may be misleading because it contains "medicine" and could lead to civil and criminal issues.

    Could I use "GNM" instead knowing it stands for German New Medicine, yet "medicine" would not be in the title or the URL. As in: USAGNM.com. I have also thought to use something different such as USANewBiology.com, however, it IS branded as GNM and people are starting to search for these initials.

    I do not want to open myself or any of the practitioners who join the association to any potential lawsuits because of the name.
    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,530

    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    You can’t copyright words, short phrases, titles, or names.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,202

    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    My question involves business law in the state of: NC

    I am starting a national association for people who teach a new biological science called German New Medicine or GNM. I have already discovered these terms are not copyrighted in the US. "German New Medicine" is copyrighted in Germany only.
    A short title like that in the U.S. cannot be protected by copyright anyway. What you may have in mind is a trademark. As a trademark, that name is probably not a particularly strong mark, but if no one else is using that mark or a similar mark you'd be fine with that. What you'd want to do is see a lawyer who practices trademark law to run a comprehensive trademark search and advise you on the trademark issues.


    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    Those of us who consult with GNM walk a fine line so we can't be accused of "practicing medicine." Most of us are holistic practitioners such as nutritionists, non-medical naturopaths, and herbalists.

    My challenge is with the name of my association because I don't want to be misleading or have people draw conclusions that we practice medicine.
    That becomes both a federal issue in that consumer protection laws enforced by the FTC require that you not mislead consumers into thinking you are providing something you aren't, and also a state law issue in that states define what is included within the practice of medicine. You'd want to consult an attorney on those issues as well.

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    I've been advised by a paralegal not to use the full term of "German New Medicine" because that may be misleading because it contains "medicine" and could lead to civil and criminal issues.

    Well, technically that paralegal probably violated the law on the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) since paralegals cannot give legal advice. The training and experience of a paralegal varies widely; in most states there are no rules regarding what training a paralegal must have and no official certification by the state for paralegals. In general though they have much less legal training than lawyers do. Thus you take a significant risk in getting advice from paralegals; when you want legal advice, see a lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,280

    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    I have already discovered these terms are not copyrighted in the US.
    That's because terms like this cannot be "copyrighted." Both terms were, however, registered trademarks with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, but those registrations have since been cancelled. That doesn't mean no one has trademark rights in the terms.

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    The US copyright was not renewed and ran out in 2015 and it was only for "German New Medicine" not for "GNM." The physician who discovered GNM died in 2017.
    This doesn't make any sense. As mentioned above, mere terms cannot be protected by copyright law. Moreover, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years (or, in the case of works for which the author is not a natural person, either 95 or 120 years, depending on certain facts). If the "physician who discovered GNM" owned any copyrights, those copyrights would not expire until 2087.

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    I've been advised by a paralegal not to use the full term of "German New Medicine" because that may be misleading because it contains "medicine" and could lead to civil and criminal issues.
    Unless this paralegal was passing along advice from an attorney for whom he/she works, he/she was (probably) practicing law without a license, which is a crime. Do not take legal advice from anyone other than an attorney. That said, it's patently obvious that stating that you practice "German New Medicine" implies that you're practicing medicine.

    You're in way over your head here. Seek out advice from a local business attorney who understands trademark law.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    Thank you for your responses.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    What a load of bollocks. I mean really, You may as well start ranting and raving about vaccines as well. Thanks to folks like you measles has returned and polio has reemerged in the US.

    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,862

    Default Re: Challenges with Naming a New Holistic Practitioner Association

    Quote Quoting calmhealth
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    Those of us who consult with GNM walk a fine line so we can't be accused of "practicing medicine." Most of us are holistic practitioners such as nutritionists, non-medical naturopaths, and herbalists.
    How about changing the name to German Not Medicine?


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