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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My sole trader company is called "Thousand Words Photography"

Resolved Question:

My sole trader company is called "Thousand Words Photography" and I am based in Berkshire. I have received an email from another company called "one thousand words photography" based in Dorset demanding that I cane my company name. I have checked and their company name is ***** ***** companies house in 2006. I started my business in 2012. Both companies offer photographic services including weddings. Should I now look at changing my company name?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Based purely on these facts I would recommend that you change your name for the following reasons:
- This company has a prior trading history and good will in the name predating yours by 6 years - and they have the evidence of having registered the limited company;
- You are potentially in breach of the law of "passing off" which is a civil tort whereby you ride on the back of the reputation of another party to take an unfair advantage - you could be sued for this and forced to account for profits or any damage caused to goodwill;
- If this company has registered a trade mark - you could be guilty of trade mark infringement.
Currently if they are not asking you to pay any costs or damages then you will be getting away with this relatively easily. If they start to incur cost by instructing a solicitor then they may seek to claim their costs from you.
Just to play devils advocate - if you wanted to dig your heals you could (as long as it is not a registered Trade Mark https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/trade-marks - you can check here) try and argue that because you trade in different geographical areas there is no risk of a likelihood of confusion between the businesses. Obviously if they then decide to sue you, this would be their prerogative.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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