Companies with substantially the same name

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  1. #1

    Companies with substantially the same name

    I have a small HK incorporated company which has been carrying on business for about 20 years. It's name is "[XXX YYY] Limited"

    I have today discovered that in 2021 someone incorporated a company in Hong Kong which carries on the same business (probably on a much larger scale) called "[XXX YYY] Holdings Limited" – the only difference is the addition of the word "Holdings" in the name.

    Needless to say I am more than a little pissed at this and am getting lawyers involved.

    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with problems like this?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by traineeinvestor:
    I have a small HK incorporated company which has been carrying on business for about 20 years. It's name is "[XXX YYY] Limited"

    I have today discovered that in 2021 someone incorporated a company in Hong Kong which carries on the same business (probably on a much larger scale) called "[XXX YYY] Holdings Limited" – the only difference is the addition of the word "Holdings" in the name.

    Needless to say I am more than a little pissed at this and am getting lawyers involved.

    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with problems like this?
    No clue, but given how many local shops have similar names (Shing Fung, Ming, etc) I doubt it.
    Shing Fung Hardware …
    Shing Fung Metal …
    Shing Fung Pharmacy …
    Shing Fung …

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by hike:
    No clue, but given how many local shops have similar names (Shing Fung, Ming, etc) I doubt it.
    Shing Fung Hardware …
    Shing Fung Metal …
    Shing Fung Pharmacy …
    Shing Fung …
    Yes, but those all all in different industries. In my case the two companies are in exactly the same business.

  4. #4

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    Have you registered your company name as YOUR own trademark? Copyright ?
    If not, please do it quickly.

    Since you are getting lawyers in this, what is their first advice?

    Last edited by LifeInHK; 20-04-2022 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. #5

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    Only in PRC on IP squatters . Just checked the CR site - from their guideline Pg 7:

    Any objection to company names should be submitted to the Registrar, giving reasons in full and including any available evidence of confusion which is claimed to have arisen. Objections should be headed “Names Complaints” and sent to the New Companies Section of the Companies Registry on the 14th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong

    No prescribed format for objection letter, you can send it, doesn't need to be from law firm but getting them involved now is wise move. I hope it's still within the 12 mth period.

    Name/CR aside, do a search on ipd.gov.hk to see if your [XXX YYY] is registered as a trademark in HK (assuming you didn't register TM for yourself before). If it is actually registered by someone else, it's a different problem. But if it's not registered, I think you need to do it asap for your company in HK (and PRC or other place if you have dealings there). I'm assuming they're using such a similar name on purpose but even if it's not malicious, now that you know there's someone who likes using the same name and in same business, you need get the TM right otherwise it'll be a pain once they get it.

    https://www.cr.gov.hk/en/companies_o...CompName-e.pdf


  6. #6

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    Is your company name still the shelf company like Billion Gold Fortune Ltd or changed to something a little bit more recognizable?

    Just randomly curious as it appears that these shelf companies are named with a random dictionary word generator and no malice could be attached to a similar name.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by traineeinvestor:
    Yes, but those all all in different industries. In my case the two companies are in exactly the same business.
    Same industries too. “Metalworks” and “hardware” are my poor translations of 五金 装饰. Trust me, it gets very confusing. And I’m not talking about similar sounding words when written in English (天 and 田 would both be Tin). The Chinese characters are the same in cases that come up.

    I have bought supplies at the wrong name shops on this basis. You have every right to be worried. I just don’t know if this is illegal or accepted practice.

    I would think that your company name differs from and is not a registered trademark.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by traineeinvestor:
    I have a small HK incorporated company which has been carrying on business for about 20 years. It's name is "[XXX YYY] Limited"

    I have today discovered that in 2021 someone incorporated a company in Hong Kong which carries on the same business (probably on a much larger scale) called "[XXX YYY] Holdings Limited" – the only difference is the addition of the word "Holdings" in the name.

    Needless to say I am more than a little pissed at this and am getting lawyers involved.

    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with problems like this?
    Have you registered your trademark and are you litigating to stop the other company from using your registered trademark?

    If not, then under the doctrine of laches, the other company may be able to continue to use that name.

    As you probably know, litigation is expensive and you have to decide whether the time and expense required is justified.

  9. #9

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    Apple, Facebook. Not the same name but definitely the same unrepeatable nickname


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ByeByeEngland:
    Apple, Facebook. Not the same name but definitely the same unrepeatable nickname
    No idea what that means, but Apple and Apple Daily come to mind.