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I am not a trademark lawyer, so what I say means little.

However, in the US I believe there is no legal restriction on whether

a company is local, regional, state, national or international to use

that in their name.

I could name a business WHITE INTERNATIONAL PHOTO SERVICES, if

I wanted to. Sounds important, huh?

We have National Broadcasting Company...NBC.

We have National Biscuit Company...but to be different they are NABISCO

to avoid confusion, and NBC is taken.

I could start a business called National Baloney Company...but I couldn't

call it NBC. And I couldn't start a broadcasting company called NBC, even

if it stood for Nellie's Broadcasting Corporation.

There are rules, but most follow common sense...to have an exclusive name.

Jack

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Greg,

I can't help you regarding your legal question but the National Research Corporation is a very interesting entity.

Post WW2, the vice president there was a young man by the name of Carroll Louis Wilson. In early 1947, he was appointed as general manager of the Atomic Energy Commission and went to work immediately to push for a transition from military to civilian control.

During WW2, Wilson was the right hand man to Dr. Vannevar Bush in the Office of Scientific Research and Development.

James

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Jack and James, Thanks for your responses.

Jack, you said:

However, in the US I believe there is no legal restriction on whether

a company is local, regional, state, national or international to use

that in their name.

I could name a business WHITE INTERNATIONAL PHOTO SERVICES, if

I wanted to. Sounds important, huh?

A quick google got this from British Law:

A company name can be illegal if it:

* Suggests the company is bigger than it is, e.g. naming a company 'ABC International' when it does no business overseas.

* Contravenes registered trademarks or is already being used.

* Gives the impression that the company is associated with 'Her Majesty's Government' or includes 'prescribed' words, for example 'Bank' or 'Police.'

Another website said that that US corporate Law is based on the British model...

You need to distinguish between what you can do in a business operated as a sole trader, or family concern, and one which is incorporated to issue shares. There are (or seem to be) less restrictions in the first situation, which may be what you're thinking of.

James, I've written about the NRC extensively in the past and know about Carroll. My interest stems from John C Jackson who roomed with Ruby in the 1950s. After the assassination. he was interviewed by the FBI and he told them he worked for the National Research Corporation. The Louisiana corporations data base shows a (share issuing) company using that name was incorporated in Louisiana in 1960, with Jackson listed in those records.

Further information has come to light, making it even more important to establish whether the Louisiana NRC was connected to the one Carroll was associated with in Massachusetts. I suspect a connection based on my belief that they could not have used that name otherwise, and because the type of business carried out was similar, as was the method of conducting the business. My belief in a connection doesn't cut it, though. I want to be certain.

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I was thinking of an individual opening a business, not a corporation selling shares...

which has a whole different set of rules.

Where I live (Texas) and having started two different DBAs (Doing Business As),

the county and state regulations are more important than national.

To start a business in Tarrant County (Jack White Enterprises) I had to pay a minor

registration fee for them to check to see that no other company in the county had that

name. The legal name of my company was Jack White DBA Jack White Enterprises.

To start our other company (VJS Companies) I had to file with the Texas Secretary of

State to confirm that no other business OF THAT NAME WAS ENGAGED IN THE SAME

BUSINESS. There was one slight hitch: There was a CATTLE RANCH with the VJS

brand. We had to prove that our business was GRAPHIC ARTS and not cattle ranching

before our corporate charter was granted. It was ok to have a VJS cattle brand

and a VJS art shop.

No "national" filing was required. However, if we had sold public shares in our corporation,

that would have required filing with the FTC.

Jack

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...

Another website said that that US corporate Law is based on the British model...

...

Of course it is.

As is the US Federal Reserve system and the US "intelligence" agencies.

Independence Day is a joke.

Edited by Myra Bronstein
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Guest Gary Loughran
To start our other company (VJS Companies) I had to file with the Texas Secretary of

State to confirm that no other business OF THAT NAME WAS ENGAGED IN THE SAME

BUSINESS. There was one slight hitch: There was a CATTLE RANCH with the VJS

brand. We had to prove that our business was GRAPHIC ARTS and not cattle ranching

before our corporate charter was granted. It was ok to have a VJS cattle brand

and a VJS art shop.

Jack

I can confirm that this is also applicable in the UK. You can register a same business name as long as it doesn't come into conflict with that existing business' line of work.

I think Apple (computers) Versus Apple (The Beatles) highlighted this. The logos and trading names were agreed years ago. However once Apple went into iTunes/iPod business The Beatles Apple corp. believed this to be an intrusion into the music world, hence the protracted legal battle and as a sidebar, the reason why you couldn't get The Beatles album art on your iPod from iTunes. FWIW

Gary

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...

Another website said that that US corporate Law is based on the British model...

...

Of course it is.

As is the US Federal Reserve system and the US "intelligence" agencies.

Independence Day is a joke.

The situation is seen very different from this side of the pond. The other day the government suggested that the UK should have a "national day". People have proposed dates for this national day. Several people have suggested it should be the 24th July. :rolleyes:

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...

Another website said that that US corporate Law is based on the British model...

...

Of course it is.

As is the US Federal Reserve system and the US "intelligence" agencies.

Independence Day is a joke.

Myra, I'm with ya on this... democracy from the Greeks... pizza from the Italians... manners from the French... where does it all end???

Take heart though. There is one part of corporate law that the US can claim credit for, and one which every other country adopted. This was the granting of "personhood" to corporations. A big pat on the back for that one...

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030919.html

Now back to my original question... anyone? At this point, I'll even settle for a half-arsed guess. :rolleyes:

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A company named National Research Corporation (NRC) was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1940 and continued in business at least until the 1970s.

then the Louisiana NRC had to have been connected to the Massachusetts company - but I really need to be certain that is the case.

Any help appreciated.

On these facts there is absolutely no neccessary connection between the two entities.

In many respects every state in the US is a sovereign state and this is generally true in relation to state regulation of business. (The principal purpose of state regulation of business, as far as I can see, is to maximize revenue for the state).

In Massachusets (and every other state I can think of) corporate organization comes under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State. Massasscusets insists on calling itself a Commonwealth, but everyone else calls it a state.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin

Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division

One Ashburton Place, 17th floor

Boston, MA 02108-1512

Telephone: (617) 727-9640

http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearc...searchinput.asp

You can search the database yourself, but I could find no record of National Research Corporation, so I phoned the Secretary's office this morning and was advised that there is a corportation of that name still doing business from an address at 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. This company was incorporated on 12/1/1967.

Older records are available only on microfilm and require a visit to the Secretary's office OR a request for information by letter. Certified copies of a certificate of incorporation can be had for a flat fee of $12.00 (international money orders suggested for non-US residents).

The gentleman I spoke to points out that knowing the company's address is a big help in tracking down information.

My suggestion is: address your request to the Secretary with as much information as possible and enclose a $12 money order.

Caveat: The certificate of incorporation, if you can find the right one, may not reveal much about the identity of the principals.

Sorry I can't be of more help

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A company named National Research Corporation (NRC) was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1940 and continued in business at least until the 1970s.

then the Louisiana NRC had to have been connected to the Massachusetts company - but I really need to be certain that is the case.

Any help appreciated.

On these facts there is absolutely no neccessary connection between the two entities.

Ray, I deeply appreciate the trouble you've gone to, and your point here is taken. However, when you look at the type of business each was involved in, and how the businesses were conducted, at the very least, if they were not connected, then the Louisiana version copied more than just the name...

In many respects every state in the US is a sovereign state and this is generally true in relation to state regulation of business. (The principal purpose of state regulation of business, as far as I can see, is to maximize revenue for the state).

In Massachusets (and every other state I can think of) corporate organization comes under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State. Massasscusets insists on calling itself a Commonwealth, but everyone else calls it a state.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin

Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division

One Ashburton Place, 17th floor

Boston, MA 02108-1512

Telephone: (617) 727-9640

http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearc...searchinput.asp

You can search the database yourself, but I could find no record of National Research Corporation, so I phoned the Secretary's office this morning and was advised that there is a corportation of that name still doing business from an address at 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. This company was incorporated on 12/1/1967.

A few years ago I put together a potted history of the company. My timeline for it has this:

1960's (exact year unknown) NRC purchased by the Norton Company, and a subsidiary company known as NRC Inc emerges registered in Massachusetts at the same address as the Sloan School of Business - where Richard Morse is teaching.

Richard Morse was the Founder and first President of NRC. Thanks to you, I now have the exact year the above occurred.

Older records are available only on microfilm and require a visit to the Secretary's office OR a request for information by letter. Certified copies of a certificate of incorporation can be had for a flat fee of $12.00 (international money orders suggested for non-US residents).

The gentleman I spoke to points out that knowing the company's address is a big help in tracking down information.

My suggestion is: address your request to the Secretary with as much information as possible and enclose a $12 money order.

Caveat: The certificate of incorporation, if you can find the right one, may not reveal much about the identity of the principals.

Sorry I can't be of more help

You have been - even if the question remains unanswered for now.

Edited by Greg Parker
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