The firm is the name of a company. This includes sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), companies limited by shares and cooperatives. Since companies are often referred to as firms themselves, it is conceptually clearer to speak of the company name. The protection of the company name is basically regulated in the Code of Obligations.
The counterpart for the individuals is the civil name. It is regulated in the Civil Code. Not only artists can invoke this protection for their stage name, but also companies.
What scenarios do we encounter with company names and indivudal names?
You start a new business and want to know if the company name you would like to use for it is available. You find that similar company names already exist and wonder if you too may use a similar name. Perhaps you have noticed that there is a company that uses a very similar company name, but operates in a completely different industry: can you oppose it? In addition, you have seen that there is a competitor using a similar trademark and domain name. However, you yourself do not have a trademark: now you would like to clarify whether you can still do something about it.
As an artist, you have been using a pseudonym for years. Suddenly you realize that a marketing company is advertising with this pseudonym. How can you defend yourself against this?
You want to defend yourself against an infringement? This is how freigutpartners can support you.
If you are setting up a company that will be registered in the commercial register, we can clarify whether the company name you have chosen is available or not. If your company is already registered and you discover that third parties are using this name, we can request them to stop using it and to change the company name. If this request is not complied with, we can enforce your rights through legal proceedings. This also applies to the right to a civil name. In addition, if you discover that a domain name or trademark has been registered with your company name, we can enforce your rights in dispute resolution proceedings or trademark opposition or cancellation proceedings before the Institute of Intellectual Property or in civil and criminal courts.
Our experts for Company and Name Law
Please feel free to contact us for a non-binding consultation. Our attorneys are at your disposal at our offices in Zurich and Bern.