Question

As a voluntary organisation how do we protect our name from other groups who may do similar work but without any connection to us?

Comments

paul.meade's picture

Thanks for your question.The

Thanks for your question.

The short answer is that, the most effective way to protect your reputation is to manage and control your organisations affairs in the most pristine manner and, through those actions, to build a recognised and respected reputation and record. That is by far the best protection against unwanted association that you can have.

On a more practical note, it is of course advisable to register your company name / trademark. But nevertheless, you should note that registration of a business name:

  • does not give protection against duplication of the name;
  • does not imply that the name will necessarily prove acceptable subsequently as a company name;
  • does not authorise the use of the name if its use could be prohibited for other reasons. It should not for instance be taken as an indication that no rights (e.g. trade marks rights) exist in the name.

If you've registered that name as a trademark, however, and you can prove that it is being used in the same space as your trademark you'll have a case.

Registering your trade mark creates an official record of your rights as owner of a particular trade mark and makes it easier to prevent others from using it.

Forming a company name does offer some protection as The CRO may have to refuse a name if it is identical to or too similar to a name already appearing on the register of companies.

Best of luck.