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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12183
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Location: Scotland, UK. Company names changed

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Location: Scotland, UK. Company names changed for the purposes of this question. I registered a company called SLAM GRAPHICS LTD in July 2013. Recently I found the domain name SLAM.GRAPHICS was registered by a company registered in December 2014 called SIMPLE LINES AT MOST LTD. So they're basically using an acronym of their registered company name, i.e. S.L.A.M. On their website they state "SLAM.GRAPHICS is the trading name of SIMPLE LINES AT MOST LTD". Both companies offer the same services. Am I right to be alarmed at this? The companies are only 15 miles apart. Surely this is against company formation law?

Update: I also own the trademark SLAM for all online usage in our industry. This was registered in April 2015.

Thank you for your question.
This is not against company law as there is no objection to the name Simple Lines At Most Limited. Rather there is a potential claim and remedies under intellectual property law for:
1. Breach of your trademark. You can ask the court for an interdict to prevent continued use of the name SLAM Graphics in breach of your trademark.
2. Common law passing off as your company. That is they have caused a situation whereby there can be confusion in the marketplace and again your remedy is an interdict which is a court order to stop this.
Both could result in you being able to stop them using the name that you use and also demanding that they transfer the domain name to you. You need a lawyer to issue a cease and desist letter in the first instance and thereafter issue court proceedings if they refuse to desist.
Happy to discuss further.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I was under the impression that 'trading as' names fell under the same rules as Limited company names, i.e. if you can't register a company name due to foreseeable objection, then you can't just use the same as a trading name?

Regarding your other points:

1. Would you foresee a problem with my trademark given that it was registered 4 months 'after' they registered their company?

2. Makes sense, thanks.

You mentioned transfer of domain ownership. Would this also apply to their 'SLAM GRAPHICS' facebook account, twitter account, etc?

Thanks again.

Thanks for responding and for your kind feedback.
Dealing with your queries. The trading name can't be challenged at Companies House as it isn't registered at Companies House. The trading name is ***** ***** trademark, passing off and domain name grounds.
The fact that their limited company was registered before your trademark doesn't matter, again because the limits company name on its own isn't the offending name.
Interestingly, you won't be able to get Facebook or Twitter to remove their accounts without a court order for implement as described above. You could extend your interdict action and ask the court to make them stop using those names on social media and Facebook etc would be bound to comply upon intimation of th court's order.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the further information. Looks like I'll be contacting the solicitor in the morning.

You're welcome.