Company names and goodwill; Artists as brands

STOP PRESS: the Kat misread "2008" as "2007", which is why the provision described below isn't coming into force till 1 October 2008. Apologies to all concerned - and a big thank-you to the large number of readers who spotted the error.

The IPKat knew this was coming, but didn't notice when it actually came. Since 1 October 2007 in the UK it has been possible for anyone to object to the registration of a company name if it is the same as a name in which the objector has any goodwill, or if he believes that the company’s name is so similar that it would be likely to mislead. This new provision can be found in the Companies Act 2006, s.69, which states that such an objection to a company name may be made to the "company names adjudicator". In this context, goodwill includes a reputation of any description, not just goodwill in well-known brands and famous names.

Right: now here's a company name with goodwill in it ...

Once an objection to a company name is made, its registrant can argue that the name was adopted in good faith or that the interests of the applicant are not significantly adversely affected.

Says the IPKat, given the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice in Case C-17/06 Céline SARL v Céline SA (noted here by the Kat), no reader needs any further reminder that one's understanding of trade mark law and domain name dispute resolution must be supplemented with a good working knowledge of how company names are registered and under what circumstances they can be removed.

Next in this year's highly popular QMIPRI Herchel Smith Seminars is "The Artist Re-Branded: the Resale Royal Right and the Development of the Artist as Brand". Speakers are Dr Charles Lewis (BERR), Professor Celia Lury (Goldsmiths) and Dr Jaime Stapleton (Birkbeck). This seminar takes place at QMIPRI's groovy central London pad, 67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3JB, on Monday 22 October 2007 at 6 pm (for a 6.30pm start), followed by a drinks reception.

Like all good things, this event is free -- but you still have to register by emailing here. Best of all, if you are a lawyer who needs CPD points, you can pick up two of them here.
Company names and goodwill; Artists as brands Company names and goodwill; Artists as brands Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 Rating: 5

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