Monday 15 December 2008

UK: first decision of the Company Names Tribunal

The Company Names Tribunal was introduced by the Companies Act (2006) to deal with disputes concerning opportunistic company name registrations. It started operating on 1 October 2008. Under Section 69 of the 2006 Act:

A person ( “the applicant”) may object to a company's registered name on the ground-

(a) that it is the same as a name associated with the applicant in which he has had goodwill, or
(b) that it is sufficiently similar to such a name that its use in the United Kingdom would be likely to mislead by suggesting a connection between the company and the applicant.

The Tribunal's decisions will be published here. The first decision has been published: see here. It concerned the registration, in February 2008, of the company name Coke Cola Limited. The applicants - The Coca-Cola Company - were, unsurprisingly, successful in their application under Section 69(1)(b) and a change of name order under Section 73 was made by the company names adjudicator. Further information about the Tribunal's remit is available here.

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