Selecting a company name is an essential part of the process of incorporating your company in the UK. But it is important to remember that obtaining a company name is not the same as filing a trade mark application – it gives you no right to use the name or to stop others from doing so. 

If your company name includes a third party’s trade mark you may be prevented from using the name by court proceedings or by proceedings taken against you in the Company Names Tribunal. Using your own name as your company name can no longer be relied upon as a defence to proceedings for infringement.

Therefore, before you start using a company name or building your brand around that name, it is vital to make sure it does not include the trade mark of a third party. If the name is free for your use, you should apply for a registered trade mark to ensure your continued freedom to use.

Infringing Use of a Company Name

If your rights as a trade mark owner are being infringed by a third party’s business or company name, that use may be preventable as an infringement of your trade mark rights. Alternatively, where there are grounds for believing a company name has been registered in order to extract money from you, or to prevent your business from registering the name, proceedings may be initiated before the Company Names Tribunal.

If you need assistance with a company name issue contact us here.