How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Stuart J Your Own Question

Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

I have been threatened by a company over the use of a tradename

Customer Question

I have been threatened by a company over the use of a tradename but I have used that name before they registered it
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name is Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Could you explain your situation a bit more? How long have you used the name? Are they exactly the same or just similar?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The word is "maxim" they have used it for about 14 years we have used it for about 12 years but they only registered it in about 2006 which is about 7 years after we have been using it


it is used by both companies making contact lenses

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Why has this only cropped up now?

Has the letter come from solicitors or from them?

What is the substance of the threat?

Do you operate in the same area or have any customers the same?

Does your letterhead or website in any way resemble theirs?

Can we have the full background detail please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


  1. Not sure why this has cropped up now

  2. Yes the letter came from a solicitor

  3. They are saying that if we stop using the names sign a document and give them information as to how many and who we have sold them to they would not take any action.

  4. We both do operate around the UK with some same customers.

  5. We do not promote the names in any way at all and do not show on website or company documents

  6. They use the word Quantam and we use Quantem, and also we both use the word Maxim but we used it at least 10 years before they trademarked it. We only use those names on an order form when an optician asks for that particular design which is a generic design and not unique. We do not promote it.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Are they a lot bigger than you or are both your company is the
same size?

Do you have evidence of having used this name for 10 years?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes they are a big American corporation worth in the billions


Yes we have evidence of using the name's

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

There are several issues here which include:

The trademark.

The trading name.

Their net worth.

They cannot register a trade mark of a trading name already used
by someone else and expect the law to uphold them using it particularly, if you
have already been using it for many years prior to that.

I think if they went to court on this, ultimately (I emphasise the
word "ultimately") they would lose.

Unfortunately, if they are worth that amount of money, and they
decide to take you to court, even though ultimately, you might win by virtue of
the fact you have been trading for years, it could be an expensive exercise to
get there. I would check your business insurance to see if you have legal
expenses cover that would pay for any litigation.

There is the issue of passing off your business is theirs and
whether your trading style is so close to their trading style that the average
man in the street would be confused. That is nothing to do with the Trade Mark
and to be honest, it is also nothing to do with the fact that you have now been
trading for 10 years and they have been trading for 12 years so in that respect,
you are not on good ground unless they have manipulated their trading style to
make it like yours so that they could then remove you from the market in
passing off action. That would come down to historic evidence.

It really comes down to how important the use of these names is to

If it is not that important, I would get a solicitor to write to
them telling them that you agree to stop using it without making any admission
that you are in any way liable for anything. At this stage in time, I wouldn't
be giving any of the information they have asked for because at this stage in
time, they are not entitled to it. I would then see what happens.

If it is important, you could have an expensive legal battle which
ultimately you might win and if you do win you would get your costs back from
them but it could be expensive to get there

Does that answer the question?

I am happy to answer any specific questions that you may have

If you have not done already, please don't forget to positively
rate my answer service even if it was not what you wanted to hear. You should
now see a series of buttons which enable you to rate my answer service

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating.

It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask.

The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions
after rating my answer service.

Rating doesn't close the enquiry at
all even though the site may give that impression. It remains open for you to
read and ask for further clarification.


PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make
sense. It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice