A South Carolina attorney is unable to use his own name to market his law firm after he was sued by his father. George Sink Jr. worked for personal injury lawyer George Sink Sr.—whose TV ads and billboards have made him famous across the state—for just shy of a year before he was fired in February, per WIS. Four days later, the Yale graduate started his own legal practice, George Sink II Law Firm, prompting his father to sue in April, per the Charleston Post and Courier. Sink Sr. argued that use of the name violated trademark laws, created unfair competition, and confused potential clients. On Friday, a federal judge agreed enough to issue a temporary order blocking "George Sink" from appearing on the website, email addresses, and social media accounts of the new firm.
George Sink, PA Injury Lawyers "has spent nearly two decades and an exorbitant amount of money advertising for its legal services and building up awareness of and goodwill in its trademark" and "it would not be just" to let Sink Jr. benefit, Judge David Norton said, per the Post and Courier, which reports the ban will remain in effect until the case is heard by an arbitrator. "The mere fact that it is George Sink Jr.'s given name does not automatically shield him from allegations of infringement," Norton added, per WIS, noting Sink Jr. "must do more" to differentiate himself from his father. Sink Sr.'s lawsuit claims his son prefers the name "Ted." However, lawyers for Sink Jr. say George Sink "appears on his birth certificate, driver's license, Yale undergraduate degree, and on his law degree." (Read more trademark violation stories.)