Skip to main content
CLOSE

Charities

Close

Corporate and Commercial

Close

Employment and Immigration

Close

Fraud and Investigations

Close

Individuals

Close

Litigation

Close

Planning, Infrastructure and Regeneration

Close

Public Law

Close

Real Estate

Close

Restructuring and Insolvency

Close

Energy

Close

Entrepreneurs

Close

Private Wealth

Close

Real Estate

Close

Tech and Innovation

Close

Transport and Infrastructure

Close
Home / News and Insights / News / Playing the name game: what to do if the company name you want is taken

Naming your company is not always easy. Like choosing baby names, you want to get your company’s name just right. So what happens when you discover that your chosen company’s name has been taken by someone else?

The most common route is to make an application to the Company Names Tribunal (CNT) to object to the name of the other company. The CNT deliberate ‘opportunistic registrations’ – company names which are thought to have been registered to capitalise on the success of that company – and will consider names which are identical or sufficiently similar.

Usually, such opportunistic registrations occur in situations referred to as ‘cyber-squatting’, where cyber squatters lock down one or more variations of a well-known name as a ransom to extract remuneration from a high-profile company.

Evidence is required from both sides to demonstrate either the goodwill or reputation of their company, which can be illustrated with the company’s attributes, background and longevity.

Those defending claims would have to show that the company has operated in good faith and that there is no significant adverse effect on the applicant company.

If not an opportunistic registration, companies can file a complaint that the name is ‘too like’ an existing company name.

The CNT is just one of many examples of enforcement measures that companies have at their disposal to protect branding and reputation. Names are important, but due diligence even more so, especially in respect of existing third party intellectual property rights.

Related Articles

Our Offices

London
One Bartholomew Close
London
EC1A 7BL

Cambridge
50/60 Station Road
Cambridge
CB1 2JH

Reading
The Anchorage, 34 Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU

Southampton
Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Square
Southampton SO15 2BE

 

Reading
The Anchorage, 34 Bridge Street
Reading RG1 2LU

Southampton
Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Square
Southampton SO15 2BE

  • Lexcel
  • CYBER ESSENTIALS PLUS

© BDB Pitmans 2024. One Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7BL - T +44 (0)345 222 9222

Our Services

Charities chevron
Corporate and Commercial chevron
Employment and Immigration chevron
Fraud and Investigations chevron
Individuals chevron
Litigation chevron
Planning, Infrastructure and Regeneration chevron
Public Law chevron
Real Estate chevron
Restructuring and Insolvency chevron

Sectors and Groups

Private Wealth chevron
Real Estate chevron
Transport and Infrastructure chevron