Business names versus trade marks – aren’t they pretty much the same thing?
No, not at all. Only a registered trade mark can prevent unauthorised use by others.
Your business name registration may be a statutory requirement in Australia, but it confers no legally enforceable intellectual property right to use that name. In that respect, you can’t use it to prevent others from using your name. And if your business name infringes someone else’s trade mark, then they could force you to stop using it.
Likewise, domain name registration doesn’t give you a legally enforceable intellectual property right to use that name.
Of course, you can register your business name (or even your domain name) as a trade mark, so long as it meets the requirements of the Trade Marks Act 1995.
Also, here’s a shout out to our friends at AzListed, the human-edited web directory.