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Your registered business name – use it or lose it

3 July 2014

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced on 20 June, 2014 that a pilot program to free up business names for registration would soon begin.

ASIC intends to contact a number of business name holders and will revoke their registered business names if no action is taken within a two (2) month period.

It is anticipated that this trial will remove a number of unused names from the register, expand the choice of business names available for registration and improve the accuracy and currency of the ASIC Registers.

If businesses have also secured trademark registration of their business name (which most, if not all, should) it is possible that the removal of the business name could be a pre-curser to an application for removal of the trademark on the basis of non-use.

That is, as a person may apply to have a trademark removed on the basis of non-use, one consequence of ASIC's clean up may be that sharp operators review the business names register and apply for registration of the corresponding trademark (if they are interested in it) where the business name is revoked. 

Business owners should consider their overall brand strategy in light of the proposed changes.

For more information contact:

Andrew Nicholson | Partner
Mullins Lawyers
t +61 7 3224 0261
f +61 7 3224 0333
anicholson@mullinslaw.com.au

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