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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am working on the creation of a dating website

Resolved Question:

Hello,
I am working on the creation of a dating website that is going to be registered as a business in the UK but that will be promoted worldwide, and I have certain concerns regarding the name of the company and website.
1. If the company is called "AAA" in the UK, can anyone open a company with the same name in any other country and claim their rights to own my website or ask me to stop using their name?
2. How can I protect the website's name/domain and my company from being claimed by others worldwide?
3. I am planning to buy other domains with the same name but in different languages. For example if the website is "AAA.com", in French would be "CCC.com". How can I stop anyone from creating a company called CCC in France and claim for their rights to own my website in France? Is this really a potential risk?
Thank you
Joaquin
Thank you
Joaquin
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
If you register the name AAA Limited as an English registered company and you use this as your trading name and the name in which you build your customer base in and good will, you could consider registering a community wide trade mark in the EU to stop people copying your business name. Other people could incorporate using your name in other EU countries but they would not be able to then trade with that name in similar goods and services. https://oami.europa.eu/
Other countries not part of the EU scheme you would have to deal with on a country by country basis, but they would not be able to circumvent your trade mark by basing themselves in countries where you do not have a TM and trading in your markets.
How many countries will you initially trade in?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your answer.

The problem is that I am also considering doing other online business, and I will probably put them all under the same Ltd company. Thus, if the company is called AAA, then the first website might be called BBB.xxx the second CCC.xxx, etc.

Can anyone open a company called BBB and trade with BBB.yyy

Note the name in the domain from xxx to yyy. The name it'll be the same, but not the subdomain.

What about using the name in America? Would it be protected?

Thank you

Joaquin

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
You can use different trading names under the same legal entity, but you must disclose at your place of business and official company stationery (any marketing material) that it is ZZZ trading as AAA Limited (and include the company no of AAA Limited).
The US has its own TM system, you will have to go and check with the US TM office whether someone has already registered a similar logo in the US? This would not stop you trading in UK and EU markets per say, unless the TM is already in use in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/trade-marks - You can check existing TMs here.
I would note that if anyone does squat on your domain names there is a use it or lose it policy and you can challenge any squatters on the domain names here - https://www.icann.org/
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
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