With the amount of information and ideas on the Internet, it is difficult to come up with words (even fabricated ones) that haven't been used in some context before. Let's say that in the course of creating a corporation, the person filing the paperwork searches the Internet for their proposed business name (and trademark). There are likely some search hits: a college project from a few years back, a fictional weapon from some online novel, or a project name from an abandoned (and never trademarked) system from a small company.

Does the entity incorporating move on to even more obscure names, or are they safe using their chosen (and rare and untrademarked) name?

1 Answer 1


A business name is not a trade mark.

A business name is a unique name within the relevant jurisdiction that identifies a business. Any person (including corporate persons) can conduct business using their own name - business names are only used when conducting business in a name other than your own. For example, John Smith can work as a carpenter and bill as "John Smith" but if he wants to bill as "John Smith Carpentry", he needs a business name.

Trade marks identify specific goods and services provided by a business. They must be sufficiently distinct within a jurisdiction that the goods and services cannot be confused with the goods and services of another business - for example "Guns n Roses" can be the trademark of, say, a band but also be a trade mark owned by another person for their chain of firearms/flower stores.

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