Company Names Tribunal - Successful Decision
Although it has been a long time coming, we are very pleased to report that we have now received the decision from the Company Name Tribunal and as expected we have been successful and the Company Name Tribunal has ordered that the infringing company name IMCGB to be changed to a non-offending name. They have also made a cost award of £2,000 in our favour.
From the decision, we have cut and pasted some of the most relevant paragraphs below. Please note the infringing company IMCGB is referred to as “GB” in the decision, and our organization, the real International Ministerial Council of Great Britain is referred to as “IMC”:
“16. Having reviewed the evidence filed in these proceedings, we have no hesitation concluding that when the company name IMCGB was registered on 28 October 2009, IMC had a protectable goodwill in the identical name and that this goodwill was in relation to a range of educational and cultural services relating to Christianity.”
“24. … To apply for the identical name in the circumstances (regardless of whether GB thought this was an acceptable course of action) falls below acceptable standards of commercial behaviour and does not, in our view, demonstrate that the name was adopted by GB in good faith; GB’s defence based upon 69(4)(d) of the Act is dismissed accordingly.”
“27. As we have dismissed all of GB’s defences, IMC’s application succeeds.”
“33. IMCGB are ordered to pay the International Ministerial Council of Great Britain the sum of £2,000. This sum to be paid within seven days of the expiry of the appeal period or within seven days of the final determination of this case if any appeal against this decision is unsuccessful”
Accordingly the name must be changed within one month (i.e. by 26 August 2012) to one that is not offending (i.e. a name that by reason of its similarity would give rise to a further complaint). If this is not done voluntarily a new company name will be determined by the Company Name Tribunal.
We are pleased with this outcome and praise God for this. We thank you for all your support and prayers during these proceedings. We are grateful also for the support of Churches Together in England, Churches Together North Thames, Christian Aid, United Reformed Church and members of the International Ministerial Council of Great Britain for their support during the proceedings.
The decision will also be published in due course on the Company Names Tribunal Website at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/cna/cna-decisions/cna-defend.htm.