Trade Marks and Business Names
The difference between trade marks, business, company and domain names sometimes causes confusion. Registration of a business, company or domain name does not in itself give you any proprietary rights - only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection.
The same word(s) may be registered by different people as business names and trade marks. However, the registered trade mark owner can sue the business owner for infringing the trade mark if they use the words on goods or services similar to those covered by the trade mark registration.
Caution: Before you register your business name, be careful that it does not infringe on someone else's trade mark. It is always wise to search the trade mark databases first.
A trade mark identifies a product or a service, distinguishing it from the similar products or services of other traders. Registration of the trade mark gives the owner the legal right to exclusively use or control the use of the mark for the goods or services for which it is registered. Registration is obtained under the Trade Marks Act 1995 and in most cases covers the whole of Australia.
A business name is a trading name only. However, a business name is only valid in the state(s) it is registered.
A company name identifies a legally incorporated entity. If a company wishes to trade using a name other than its registered company name, it must register that trading name as a business name.
Domain names are site addresses on the internet. Registration of a domain name gives you exclusive use of that Internet address but only for an agreed period of time.
No proprietary rights in the name are gained through business name, company name or domain name registration in itself.