What are the Basic Differences between Trade Name and Trademark?

calendar14 Feb, 2021
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Differences between Trade Name and Trademark

There is a lot of skepticism among the masses regarding the term trade name and trademark. People often treated them as a single term. However the fact is that both these terms are different.

Both are imperative for the well-being of the business. One should be aware of the basic differences between these terms in order to sustain longer in the business domain.

What is the Trade Name under Law?

Trade name refers to a name which is used to impart distinct identity to the company or firm. Such company will conduct their business activities under this term. The trade name is mandatory for registering the company under the existing act.

One can choose any trade name for its business provide it is not already in existence. That means two identical trade names cannot exists in a legal space. The ministry of corporate affairs[1] will not approve a trade name which coincides with the trade name of another company.

Read our article:Is Online Merchant Requires to Obtain Trademark Registration for their E-Commerce Store?

What is the Trademark under Law?

Trademark refers to a brand name that carries exclusive rights. It includes logo, symbol, word, numerals, or a combination of these. It helps the company to distinguish their offering from the rest of the competition. The trademark registration renders legal protection in view of Trademark Act. The unlawful use of a registered trademark is considered as the violation of the law. Thus; one must keep track of whether the proposed trademark is available or already in existence.

A Comparison in Between Trade name & Trademark 

A Comparison in Between Trade name & Trademark

Regulating Authority

Legality aspect of trade name and trademark is governs by the different authorities. It’s generally registered under different Act depending on the form of business. For example, a firm and LLP registered under MCA and regulated by Companies Act and LLP Act respectively.

The trademark, on the other hand, is registered under the Registry of Trademarks & governs by Trademark Act. If the trademark is proposed to the owned by a company then one has to initially register the company & registration of a trademark can be done afterward.

Registration Process

The registration process of trademark and It’s different since they are regulated by the different authorities. Depending on the form of business, the trade name is registered under different Acts.

However, all categories of Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act. Any trade name is eligible for registration expect in case of LLPs and companies.  In company & LLP, ministries do not authorize the identical name.

Ministry also avoids registering the trade name for LLP and company which is identical to a registered trademark. The registration period is also not same. The authority registered the trade name within 2 to 3 week; whereas Trademark registration takes around 6 months or more.

Legal Protection 

To protect a brand name, one has to opt for Trademark registration. It renders legal protection for unlawful use of the brand name.  It allows the owner to take advantage of legal proceeding in case any dispute related ownership of the assets that bear trademark logo.

It’s important to note that trade name without a trademark protection is vulnerable to infringement i.e. anybody can use without the consent of the owner. The concept of “legal presumption of ownership” doesn’t work here- meaning in case of dispute the burden of proof is on the owner rather than the person who allegedly using the trade name.

Asset Creation

The trade name refers to name of a company or an entity. The company conducts its operation & enters into the contract under such name. Trade name just reflects the identity of the company. The filing or registration of taxes is done under the trade name.

On the contrary, the trademark plays a vital role in securing the intangible asset of an entity such as brand name or logo. It helps improving the reputation of the company in the target market.

Registered Trademark helps product to set apart from the competition which in turn attracts more and more customers. However, trademark cannot be considered as a ground for entering into agreement or contracts.


It’s non-renewal in nature i.e. it will continue to serve it purpose for lifetime. However, the trademark remains valid for not more than 10 years. If it is not renewed within the prescribed timeframe then one may dissolve all the rights under the Trademark Act. Under such a scenario, trademark becomes vulnerable to violations.


Despite sounding identical, the meanings of both these terms are different. They bear different meaning under the law. Both term works on different principle and serve different purposes.  Thus; trade name and trademark are not interconnected in any way. One has to follow different legal procedures to register these terms. Trade name and trademark holds different rights.

A trade name reflects “doing business as”; whereas a trademark manifest the brand name of the product or services. Trademark registration keeps the IP right intact and secured against the malicious activities such as counterfeiting or infringement. Getting a trademark for a brand or name is a lengthy and delicate process.

One has to be well-informed about the fundamental detail of the Act that governs the trademark registration as it can help minimize the chance the application rejection.  In case if you are not prepared to confront these hassles, then allows the CorpBiz’s expert to back you up.  With high level professional and experience, we ensure end to end support for our customer’s right from application filing to grant of certification. 

Read our article:Importance of Claiming a “User Date” in Trademark Registration Application

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