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Business name infringment
Topic: Business name infringment
Posted: 28/October/2015 at 20:13
I received a cease trading under current business name letter today from an ASX listed company. They are offering not to sue for damages if I agree to their demands. They recently purchased a business that has been trading for 15 years. I started my business 3 months before they purchased their business. They believe I have intentionally started a business in the same industry in a similar location with the intention to confuse customers and am potentially going to damage their brand.
My business name is three words long, the last word is the same as the last word in their 2 word name. The words that are different between the 2 business have a similar definition but do not sound even remotely similar. Logos and colour of logos are completely different.
A bit like 2 businesses that are called "Big cleaning" and "large cleaning". All words are generic. The word that is the same is "advantage". The company threatening to sue is based all over Australia including having an office in the place I operate my business from which is a large city with a population of 500,000 people.
There is no Trademark in place for the trading name although they have now applied for one. I spoke with ASIC about the business name and they do not see a problem with my name. Mainly sighting the fact the names register allowed it as to why it would be significantly different.
The company trying to sue purchased the business 3 months after I registered my business name. In doing so they registered the business name again, not sure why. Should they have just transferred the name. The address was incorrect on the original registration, suburb was wrong.
I do not have the funds to take on an ASX listed company but can also not afford to loose the $20,000 I have already invested in branding. They clearly want me out of the way as a competitor. Is it worth contacting ACCC
Any help is appreciated.
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