Business names and how to protect them
Business names, product names and company names are obviously extremely important. By owning your business name you can legally stop others using it but how should you go about protecting your business name legally?
Registering business names at Companies House, whilst useful, does not give you the exclusive right to use the name as a business name. All it does is to stop someone else registering exactly the same company name as the name of their business.
It does not stop someone using your business name as a trademark for their product or service. It is not sufficient to register business names at Companies House or even to register a name as internet domains and hope for the best.
If you want to make sure that any business names that you use cannot be taken or used by anyone else, you need to protect them as registered trademarks by way of trademark registration. In this way you will get the exclusive right to use your business names in relation to any the goods and/or services for which it is registered.
The Company Names Tribunal has power to adjudicate to stop the opportunistic registration of business names. For example, if someone tries to register a business name that uses a trademark or product name that belongs to you, a company names adjudicator can prevent that person from incorporating a business (or a limited liability partnership) under your name.
Conversely, if you try and incorporate a business under a name that is too close to a name that someone else has protected by trademark registration, you could be forced to abandon that business name.
The important point to remember is that business names can only really be leally protected as registered trademarks and it is foolhardy to rely simply on registration of a business name at Companies House or registration as a domain name. These have very little legal power and if you do not protect your business names as trade marks you may find that, at some point, you will have to stop using them and re-brand your business completely.
For more information on how to protect business names please contact us and one of our legal team will advise you on your specific requirements. Each business is different and it is important to get proper advice in order to get the broadest protection. We can also run some free availability searches on any business names that you are interested in to make sure that they are legally available. We are one of the leading trade mark firms in the UK. We will be pleased to help you.
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||REGISTER A TRADEMARK When you are satisfied that your chosen trademark is legally available we will handle the whole trademark registration process for you. We will draft the best trademark specification for your business, deal with all Registry queries and conduct any necessary Registry hearings. FIXED FEES ..NO hidden costs!
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