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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2997 ..

Business name-registration

(Question No 394)

Mr Berry asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

in relation to the registration of the business name "Aveeda" by the Registrar-General -

(1) Why did the search not reveal that there was another business with a similar name?

(2) Why did staff not warn the proprietor that the search might leave the business vulnerable?

(3) What recourse does the proprietor have to recover the costs incurred in the flawed registration?

Mr Smyth: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The search undertaken by the Registrar-General's Office in relation to a prospective business name is not undertaken at an extra fee. The fee paid is an "Application for Registration of a Business Name" fee. The business name registered in this case is "Aveeda Hair and Beauty Salon". I understand that the Estee Lauder product line is called "Aveda".

The Business Names Act 1963 requires the Registrar-General to refrain from registering a business name that, in the opinion of the Registrar-General is undesirable, or is a name of a kind that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been directed under the Corporations Law not to register in a company name.

A search was undertaken for the proprietor, Ms Rebecca Driver. The search involved a check of the: ACT Business Names Register for similar or identical names; the Registrar-General's Office prohibited words list; and the ASIC's National Names Index (NNI). These searches are identical name searches and are not phonetic in nature. The search did not reveal ant,identical or similar name. A subsequent check indicates that there is no similar or identical business name registered in the ACT. The search of the NNI reveals a variety of business names registered in other Australian States including the word "Aveda", some of which include beauty salons. The NNI search also indicates that "A.V.E.D.A. Pty Ltd" and "Aveda Australia Pty Ltd" are either registered or reserved as company names.

The product line "Aveda" is apparently registered as a trade mark with IP Australia. The Registrar-General's Office, in line with all Australian Business Names Registrars, does not undertake a comprehensive check of registered trade marks prior to registration of a business name.

Registration of a business name does not accrue for the proprietor, any proprietary rights in words or phrases used.

The owner of a trade mark has a right to take action against a person who emulates that mark.

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