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Is there any way of taking a domain name already owned or in use by another company if that domain name is perfect for my company?

Possibly, but its a real long shot.

ICANN has established a domain name resolution policy in the event that someone is using your corporate name as their own. In general, the criteria for filing a protest is when the other company's use of the name creates potential confusion and dilution of your trade name. But here's the catch...

You really have to prove intent. For starters, if the other company is legitimately conducting business online in a different industry than yours, the chances of capturing that name is about zero. If they are in a similar business, it greatly depends on who was around first, not only in the real world, but also on the web. Most of the time, web presence supercedes real world presence unless there is a deliberate intent to confuse.

Recent cases, though, have somewhat changed the circumstances. Julia Roberts name was being used as for a web site featuring the actress, but which was not sanctioned by the actress. The owner had no specific link to the use of the name, i.e., that was not the owners name, and the web site was actually about the actress herself and not some product completely separate from the actress. ICANN ruled that the real Julia Roberts had the right to the name and snatched it away from the current owner, transferring rights to the actress even though the real Julia Roberts had never registered the name herself.

Other instances where you can procure a domain name currently owned by someone else is if you can show that the current owner's intent in obtaining the domain name was solely to sell it to you at a profit -- sometimes a substantial profit. Generally, if the domain name you want (and is specific to your registered trade name) is being sold at open auction, and especially if you have been directly contacted by the current owner with an offer to sell, you stand a fairly good chance of forcing that domain name to your ownership.

If, however, it is a case where a company has used that name for some time with a legitimate web site for a business where the name has changed or which has gone out of business, then the attempt to sell that name becomes legitimate and there isn't much ICANN will do.

For those domain names which are not specific to your business (perhaps even though you are a furniture store) it is strongly suggested that you come up with the asking price; ICANN will not intervene. And some of those rare names get really expensive -- upwards of seven figures for the hot ones.

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