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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 9128
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If I want to use a trade name but there already exists a legal

Customer Question

If I want to use a trade name but there already exists a legal company that has that name (or similar enough) can I carry on? Can the company require me to stop ? Does the company have to be actively trading to stop me or just not declared as dormant?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome my name is ***** ***** I will assist you. If the company is trading and has good will in its name you could be guilty of "passing Off" - this is trading on the good will of another business. If the company has registered trade mark you could be guilty of trade mark infringement. Does the company actually trade? Do you trade in similar goods or services? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The Company does not have a registered trade mark. It may operate in a similar area - I don't think it has actually traded for a couple of years but not registered as dormant
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. Do you use similar or the same logos?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No its just the words are same
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Is there any chance of confusion in the eyes of public or your customers over the logos or the source the goods or services?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Probably not. We are longer established larger organisation
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you, ***** ***** have your own good will, your own logo, your own reputation, then the chance of a passing off claim against you is unlikely to be successful. This is simply because they will not be able to allege that you are passing off their name to take an unfair advantage and confuse your customer base as the origin of the goods and or services. Do you use limited company to trade through as well?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes but it has a different name at present. That's where I started as we were going to change the legal company name to our preferred trading name and then discovered this other company already existed. I'm still uncomfortable with this other company existing but I'd need to ask their permission for a similar company name.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. You can use different trading names for example you can be "ABC Limited trading as XYZ". Unfortunately there is no use it or lose it policy for company names. Would this company consider selling the name to you?