HOUSTON – Ashish Mahendru, founder of Mahendru P.C. in Houston, was quoted in Law360, Texas Lawyer and the Houston Chronicle about the summary judgment he won for his law firm client in a trademark dispute with another law firm over use of the same initials for marketing and website purposes.
Mr. Mahendru represented law firm Paranjpe & Mahadass, which used P&M and sometimes PM in marketing materials and its website domain name. Another law firm identifying itself with the same initials sent a cease and desist letter to Mr. Mahendru’s client. Mr. Mahendru filed suit on his client’s behalf and convinced Harris County Judge Robert Schaffer that the other firm could not claim part of the alphabet as a common law trademark.
The Law360 story, “Texas Firm With Same Initials Didn’t Infringe TM, Judge Rules” (subscription required), quotes Mr. Mahendru as saying this was a case of first impression in Texas. “The court’s summary judgment ruling establishes that lawyers cannot box each other out with similar firm names through trademark infringement suits,” Mr. Mahendru told the national legal news outlet. “Lawyers should earn clients through their skills and successes, not through threatening suits against their colleagues.”
Mr. Mahendru has noted that firms often abbreviate with their initials, and there just aren’t enough letters in the alphabet to allow one firm to lay claim to part of it.
In the Texas Lawyer story, “Judge Rules No Infringement in Battle Over Law Firm Names” (subscription required), Mr. Mahendru is quoted as saying: “I think the disciplinary rules prohibit us from using trade names for marketing ourselves, so we are really limited to our own names.”
Mr. Mahendru was also quoted in the Houston Chronicle story, “Legal case, with apologies to Shakespeare, asks, ‘What’s in an initial.’” Mr. Mahendru told the newspaper that he had no choice but to sue to protect his client’s established identity.
The case as also featured in the ABA Journal online in the story “Judge rules in battle of law firm using same initials in their names.”
The case is Paranjpe & Mahadass LLP v. PM Law Firm, PLLC, No. 2017-31356, in the 152nd Harris County District Court.
Mahendru P.C. is a boutique commercial litigation firm whose attorneys are known for their tenacity, intelligence and experience. Founded in 2001, the firm has a simple philosophy: Your problem is our problem. We adopt it, understand it and solve it. Our objective is to resolve every case in the best, fastest and most cost-efficient manner possible. We never wait for our opponent’s next move, which means we spend a lot of time at the courthouse and are well-known there.