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Jill Headford

Posted 2 February 2015
by Jill Headford

Disaster for company with similar name

A recent negligence claim against Companies House has highlighted the dangers of allowing another company to trade with a confusingly similar name to your own.

The national press has carried reports this week of the tragic consequences of an error by Companies House in confusing Taylor & Son Ltd with Taylor & Sons Ltd and erroneously recording a winding up order against the latter when in fact it applied to the former. The error was quickly rectified but by then had been passed on via the internet, as is the way of world these days, and Taylor & Sons Ltd sadly went into liquidation. Damages in the region £8.8m are being sought against Companies House.

Anything a business can do to prevent confusion of this kind must be worth considering.

One obvious step is to register the trading name as a Trademark. Registration will only protect the business name within the use classes for which it is registered, and will have no effect on the use of the same or a similar name by business operating in other market sectors. But one must remember that although the demise of Taylor & Sons Ltd was caused by an error at Companies House, there are many other organisations which do operate only within a certain marker sector which might make a similar error and confusion in those circumstances would most definitely be greatly reduced or eliminated by the registration of a trademark.

For advice on registering trademarks contact Jill Headford on 01392 207020 or j.headford@Tozers.co.uk

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About the author

Jill Headford

Jill Headford

Partner

A partner in the firm since 1994 and an experienced Court and Tribunal advocate, Jill specialises in resolving disputes and is a member of the Property Litigation Association