Identity crisis

Only five months after moving into its new $4 million facility in the Hillsboro Industrial park, United Feed, LLC, is in the process of finding a new name after a trademark lawsuit was filed against the local firm by a company in Sheridan, Ind.

United Feeds, Inc., Sheridan, felt the names and trademarks of the two companies were too similar.

?We, through our attorney, offered to change our name,? said Luke Lindsay, United Feed general manager.

The Indiana company has been in business for more than 25 years and it would have been more costly for the relatively new Hillsboro company to fight the lawsuit than to change its name.

The problem arose because the Indiana company had not registered its name. So, when United Feed did a name search when it organized, the similar name did not show up.

After the Indiana company saw United Feed mentioned in a publication, they filed the lawsuit.

?The mistake was that we did not register our own name,? Lindsay said.

Because United Feed is changing its name, the company will not bear additional expenses other than attorney fees.

?The interesting thing about it was that company didn?t do any business in Kansas and we don?t sell in Indiana,? Lindsay said.

He said he did not feel a problem existed unless one of the company?s would have decided to expand into the other?s area.

Lindsay said United Feed is researching other possible names after establishing its current name just a few years ago.

Although the total cost of the name change has not been determined, Lindsay said it will include changing names on trucks, signs and paperwork. Once the name has been changed, they have to reidentify the company to its patrons.

?It really wasn?t all that difficult (the last time),? Lindsay said.

He said the cooperatives who are partners in United Feed helped spread the word to patrons when the company started, and said they would do the same again.

To avoid any further problems, Lindsay said they would be sure to get their new name registered before the change is made.

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