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Objecting to a Similar Company Name

 

A person may object to a company name which they believe is very similar to their own and might result in mistakes as to the identity of one from the other amongst the public.

In such circumstances they are able to apply for a direction to force the newly formed company to change its name.

Definition of Very Similar

There is no exact definition of what would constitute very similar with regards with two company names.

Each case will be viewed on its own merits and particular circumstances with the outcome being determined based on the likelihood of the two entities being mistakenly identified.

As a general rule, the number of words and letters which distinguish one name from the other will be considered.

The addition of an “s” to one name is unlikely to result it being judged as a significant different, nor would the inclusion of "UK" or other small words.

Justifying the use of the Name

The newly registered company would be given an opportunity to provide a case supporting its retention of the name.

It might be able to point to existing situations where two companies have similarities to their case and state that the alleged confusion does not exist.

If both the new and old companies are known predominately for their trading titles and not their company names, then it might be argued that the official registered names are unlikely to affect any business transactions.

This point in isolation however is unlikely to be sufficient to enable the newly incorporated company to retain the name as consideration would have to be given to what could occur in the future.

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