October 4, 2019
George Sink Sr., a well-known personal injury lawyer from South Carolina, successfully obtained a trademark infringement injunction against his son, George Sink Jr., preventing him from using his own name for his law firm. The elder Sink trademarked the name of his law firm, “George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers”.
The claim notes that the younger Sink has always gone by “Ted” and alleges that he is trying to capitalize on his father’s reputation and advertising dollars. In response, Sink Jr. claims that his father actively promoted him as George Sink Jr. in television advertising and on business cards before his termination from the firm in February 2019. Since Sink Jr.’s departure and attempted use of the name for his new firm, Sink Sr. claims that his son is causing confusion and harming his firm’s business, goodwill, and reputation.
In an August 2019 decision, Judge David Norton issued a temporary restraining order preventing Sink Jr. from using “George Sink,” “George Sink II Law Firm,” and “George Sink Law Firm” as his firm name, professional email address, website address, and any other marketing materials. Judge Norton wrote that, “the mere fact that it is George Sink Jr.’s given name does not automatically shield him from allegations of infringement.”
The injunction is pending a final ruling by an arbitrator. Sink Jr. recently filed a notice of appeal.
Authors: Sarah Stothart and Meg King