New Jersey business owners may be interested to learn about the developments in a trademark case involving a French organization, Arthur Andersen International, and another firm based out of San Francisco, Andersen Tax. Both firms assert that they own the Andersen trademark. Arthur Anderson International claims in a recent announcement that it had revived the name and world-wide reach of the non-operational accounting firm that went out of business because of the Enron scandal, while Andersen Tax stated that it resurrected the name three years ago.
According to the CEO of Andersen Tax, he and 22 other Andersen partners left the firm in 2002 and created Wealth and Tax Advisory Services, which changed its name to Andersen Tax in 2014. The company purchased the United States rights from Arthur Andersen and the global rights from Andersen Worldwide and filed for trademarks in jurisdictions covering 89 countries.
The origins of the more recently established firm seem to be less clear. In 2014, a company called Quatre Juilliet Maison Blanche applied to register the name trademarks for 'Andersen" and 'Arthur Andersen" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. One year later, the co-founder, who was an attorney for seven years with the original Andersen's Paris office, and the Global Managing Partner issued a statement announcing that they were establishing a business consulting network using the Andersen name. In an interview, an in-house attorney for Andersen Tax questioned whether Arthur Andersen International actually provided the accounting and consulting services it advertises. Another attorney stated that Andersen Tax was an established firm well before it adopted the Andersen name.
An attorney who has experience with intellectual property litigation may assist clients with resolving disputes related to these types of matters. This emphasizes the importance of doing a thorough trademark search before choosing a company name, as these types of disputes can be costly.