Most businesses are aware that a company name can be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and trading name can be registered with the Department of Fair Trading in each state. That goes someway towards ensuring that no other enterprise registers your business name.
But such registration does not necessarily stop someone from trading under that name.
There is often merit in trade marking your business name. The registration of a trade mark prevents anybody from using that name in the industries you select, or using a deceptively similar name in those industries. The registration of a trade mark also gives you legal power to enforce that trade mark against your competitor. In this context, trade marks are a valuable tool and provide more protection than the mere registration of the company or business name.
In addition, if it can be shown that the competing company is endeavouring to pass themselves off as you or having some association with you, or is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, there may be action under the Trade Practices Act or Fair Trading Act available to you
If you require any assistance or further advice in relation to protections, trade marks, business names or corporate governance generally, please do not hesitate to contact Tal Williams on (02) 9458 7241 or Andrew Seaton on (02) 9458 7632.