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Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

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AndyPandy
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Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

#72946

Postby AndyPandy » August 8th, 2017, 11:08 am

I run a Training Company and have been doing for a few years. I've been running it as a Trading name of a Ltd Company but in December last Year I incorporated it as a separate Ltd Company. The Company names is <number> name training Ltd. where <number> is an actual number. e.g. "3 Musketeers Training Ltd". (trying to not fall foul of any advertising restrictions on this board by using the real name!!)

I've recently found out that a Greek Company making Training products in my line of business has decided to get a foothold in the UK and has set up a Company supplying the products but also providing the training. Their Company name is "number name Ltd" e.g. "Three Musketeers Ltd".

We are in absolutely the same line of Business, I have no idea of their ambitions, they are currently based in South Wales, I'm in Berkshire. So far we've each been delivering training locally but I've just bought a National Company and use a Network of Trainers across the UK so am trying to expand.

Should I be worried? No idea if they are concerned. My Ltd Co. was registered first and judging by their Facebook Posts, I've probably been trading longer (as a Trading name) but that's not guaranteed. Should I approach them informally with a view to working out a way to co-exist?

Any other thoughts?

vrdiver
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Re: Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

#72975

Postby vrdiver » August 8th, 2017, 1:19 pm

IANAL, so read with a pinch of salt!

This page: http://www.companylawclub.co.uk/company-names seems to cover your situation. Specifically -

It must not be the same as a name already registered
For these purposes, certain things are ignored when determining whether one name is the same as another. Much stricter rules came into effect for companies registered from 1st. October 2006. The new rules are:

numbers written as numerals or as words (e.g. "1" is the same as "one")


If you can prove that you registered the name before they started using it, you're in good shape and should be able to issue a "cease and desist" letter, which, if ignored, could be followed up with a court claim, including costs.

The question is whether you want to let sleeping dogs lie, which might hurt you in the future, especially if they start to take business, or whether you want to nip it in the bud.

It looks like you have a strong case for forcing them to a name change. The question then comes down to whether you want any kind of relationship with them (e.g. as an approved trainer for their product, thus keeping their motivation to expand the training side low) vs an antagonistic one.

I'd probably use the situation to explore options and see if you can work with them, but get them to change the name anyway, so as to be absolutely clear who's who in front of your customers.

Itsallaguess
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Re: Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

#72978

Postby Itsallaguess » August 8th, 2017, 1:39 pm

As a complete aside, this reminds me of a recent story where Sainsbury's were wanting a small corner-shop to change their name, after they noticed a remarkable similarity with their own trading-title -

https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cps ... 4_sign.jpg

Following a very real threat of legal action, he eventually relented and changed the name of his shop, presumably put off by what might have been a protracted and costly court-room battle -

https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cps ... 0571a3.jpg

:D

Full story here -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-40416049

Good luck with your own case AndyPandy!

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

PinkDalek
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Re: Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

#72989

Postby PinkDalek » August 8th, 2017, 2:11 pm

AndyPandy wrote:I run a Training Company and have been doing for a few years. I've been running it as a Trading name of a Ltd Company but in December last Year I incorporated it as a separate Ltd Company. The Company names is <number> name training Ltd. where <number> is an actual number. e.g. "3 Musketeers Training Ltd". (trying to not fall foul of any advertising restrictions on this board by using the real name!!)

I've recently found out that a Greek Company making Training products in my line of business has decided to get a foothold in the UK and has set up a Company supplying the products but also providing the training. Their Company name is "number name Ltd" e.g. "Three Musketeers Ltd".

We are in absolutely the same line of Business, I have no idea of their ambitions, they are currently based in South Wales, I'm in Berkshire. So far we've each been delivering training locally but I've just bought a National Company and use a Network of Trainers across the UK so am trying to expand.

Should I be worried? No idea if they are concerned. My Ltd Co. was registered first and judging by their Facebook Posts, I've probably been trading longer (as a Trading name) but that's not guaranteed. Should I approach them informally with a view to working out a way to co-exist?

Any other thoughts?


You can see at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/ that their company was incorporated in March 2017.

As you say, their company name doesn't include "Training", which may be of relevance. Especially given what vrdiver has provided. I have yet to look at the link vrdiver has supplied but this is the Companies House overview on the subject:

https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-form ... mpany-name

If you look at their website (not https), it does show the number to the left of the fuller name.

Incidentally, their website does not appear to disclose the full company name, registered office address and company registration number. This is in breach of Company Law and they risk a fine https://www.out-law.com/page-7594

Their website does suggest, at present, that they are providing local courses.

There is some local press about them, dated February, and if you haven't seen it, I can send you the link by Private Message.

GloriJo
Posts: 2
Joined: September 11th, 2017, 7:24 am

Re: Two Companies, same Business, near identical names

#80333

Postby GloriJo » September 11th, 2017, 7:38 am

Don't be bothered about the other company. Push your company up. Do the offline and online advertising with your unique company logo. Ask people to identify your logo and purchase stuff.


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