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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3496
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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In November 2014 I was approached by a friend of a friend who

Customer Question

In November 2014 I was approached by a friend of a friend who claimed that he wanted to start a new women's freemium magazine, with me as his business partner and Editor in Chief.
No contract was written up or signed yet in various emails he stated that I would receive 10 - 15 percent of the net profit once the magazine was launched.
I worked hard to find the writers needed to the magazine, I liaised with brands, wrote content, did copywriting for the website and media pack (which I charged him separately for with invoices).
I also worked closely with a graphic designer to make a mock version of the magazine and created and managed the Facebook, instagram and twitter pages of the magazine (posting daily). I also charged a mere £60 pounds a week for these services.
He did not register the business on companies house yet he bought the domain name www.elatemagazine.com.
Sadly, due to my 'business partner's lack of funds, he was not able to afford to pay for a good sales team to sell ad space and so he told me that he is 'putting the magazine on hold' for now. It has been 'on hold' now for 5 months and he has since moved on to other projects.
As I put so much effort into this business and was the creative head behind it, I wish to continue to tty and launch the magazine but with a different business partner.
My question is, what legal right do I have to do this considering no official contract was drawn up, I was the one who chose the name of the magazine and I created all the social media and creative content.
Am I able to start a new project using the same name and same magazine content?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Who currently has possession of the all the content you created?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi,We both have access to the content. The content is mostly out of date by now so you can ignore the issue about the content for now.Thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.
Hi, Thank you. There must be some content or Intellectual Property that is still relevant for example templates, styling etc? The issue is there is no business or limited company you can own here, so really all you are talking about is who owns the assets? The assets are the name, good will and intellectually property. If you had no agreement evidenced in writing you can keep what you created and are still in possession of. Other assets such as the domain name and the name itself, this individual evidently owns the name - if you used the name, you may likely cause a dispute with this individual. Was the domain name ever made public?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Yes it has been made public
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I came up with the name but he came up with the styling of the name as in the logo
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So I could go ahead with a different domain name perhaps?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.
Hi, Thank you. If you came up with the name then obviously you some claim to it. Whether can use the name or not is a grey area simply because he has spent money and time developing a logo. As this is the case you would have to expect that he may have some objection to using the name, whether he then does anything about that is a different matter. Would you be able to come up with your own unique logo and trading style?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Yes I would be able to come up with my own logo. The money he would have spent on the logo would have been less than £100 as he worked with students mostly
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.
Hi, Thank you. In my opinion the name has no good will or trading history - if you came up with the name and create your own logo then he has no grounds to say you cannot use it. His only claim would be under the law of passing off but as he has no trading history or goodwill and has only spent £100 on the logo, I doubt he would be able to successfully sue. However as I previously said it is his prerogative if he wants to have an argument with you over it so your options are (i) Use the name but bare in mind he may come and complain to you about it (ii) ask his permission to be certain. At some point you will have spent enough time and money and created enough good will in your own branding that he will no longer have any relevance to the project any way. I would be most grateful if you would rate my answer. Kind regards AJ

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