I recently built a website for a client with a local business, he registered all the sensible domain names but was horrified to find some weeks later that a competitor had set up a Ltd company with the same name!
The two guys had known each other for some time and had been rivals in other businesses.
My clients domain name had been registered since December 2011 and the website had been live since early January 2012.
My client’s rival registered an Ltd Company with Companies House with exactly the same name as my client’s domain name at the end of January 2012.
My client came to me recently asking for advice on this.
I advised my client that to be honest I had not come across this before and as it was not a domain name dispute I was not sure really where to look, however having checked the companies house website I did find some useful information on objecting to a company name registration.
Companies House gives the following advice:
Can I object to a registered company name that is very similar to mine?
Yes. If the similarity between the names may lead to confusion between
companies you can write to us presenting your case. If we uphold your
objection we will direct the company to change its name on behalf o the
Secretary of State.
You can also object to a name if it is the result of an “opportunistic
registration”, i.e. where a company has been registered with the intention
of extracting money from the complainant or to prevent him from registering
a name in which he has goodwill. Any enquiry and complaint must be directed
to the new and independent “Company Names Tribunal” (also known as “the
Adjudicator”). Further information is available at www.ipo.gov.uk/cna
The full list of Q and A’s can be found on the companies house website at http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/infoAndGuide/faq/companyAOD.shtml