VIC Threatening litigation and damages due to claiming a similar business name

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New Member
6 October 2020

Looking for some advice.

I own a small online business that I began approximently a year ago.

In March this year, I received a letter from Lawyers threatening litigation and damages due to claiming we have a similar business name.

At the time, I did not respond.

Months later (September), the director of the company is now again threatening litigation and damages against me.

I am not going to state the names of the business here, but I will give an example

My business name, for example is CanVintage Clothing Co, the other business name is Canadian Vintage Clothing Co. We both trade in the Vintage Clothing industry.

I had never heard of this company until I received the initial lawyers letter, and the follow up emails from the director of the company months later.

I understand that if there was an issue with my business name, the issue would have risen when I registered with ASIC.

The fact that he is emailing from his personal email address, threatened me 4 times now over the course of a number of months, and the costs involved, does not give me much indication he will go ahead, but the threat is there.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.


Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
26 May 2014
Ballarat, Victoria
Hi Macca,
If the two names are deceptively similar so that it creates confusion in the eyes of consumers then it may be that you are in breach of various relevant laws. The fact that you registered the name on ASIC ok is not a defence as they only do limited checks on uses of name.
The fact that the issue has been going on for some time without them proceeding further suggests they are just making empty threats but you never know. Of course, issuing proceedings in the time of COVID is a more significant decision that many people will baulk at.
Hope that helps.

Paul Cott