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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 397
Unlawful use of name or other identification of certain non-profit organizations
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
§ 397. Unlawful use of name or other identification of certain
non-profit organizations. 1. No person, firm, association or
corporation shall use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of
trade, the name, symbol, device or other identification of any
non-profit corporation, association, society or organization organized
exclusively for religious, benevolent, humane, charitable, educational,
hospital, patriotic, fraternal or veterans purposes or to promote the
study or the advancement of the arts or sciences or to sustain,
encourage or promote the musical or performing arts or to inform or
educate the consumer by publishing and disseminating the results of
tests and evaluations of goods and services, without having first
obtained the written consent of such non-profit corporation,
association, society or organization. Any violation of this section
shall be a misdemeanor.

2. Subdivision one of this act shall not apply to the use by any
person, firm, association or corporation of any trade mark, trade name
or other trade identification which was adopted and regularly used by
such person, firm, association or corporation, prior to the enactment of
this act if the use of such trade mark, trade name or other trade
identification was and is otherwise lawful but for the provisions of
subdivision one of this act. Nothing contained in this act shall be
construed so as to prohibit the use of any name, symbol, device or other
identification when used solely for purposes of historical reference or
description of geographical location only and not as a trade mark or
trade name or for purposes of trade identification.

3. Whenever there shall be an actual or threatened violation of
subdivision one of this section, the corporation, association, society
or organization affected thereby may maintain an equitable action in the
supreme court of this state to prevent and restrain said actual or
threatened violation; and may also sue and recover damages for any
injuries sustained by reason of any such violation, and if the defendant
shall have knowingly violated subdivision one of this section, the jury,
in its discretion may award exemplary damages.

4. Nothing contained in this act shall deprive any corporation,
association, society or organization entitled to invoke the remedies
provided by this act of any rights or remedies existing at common law or
under the penal law or any other law of this state.