Trademark

Trade Name vs Trademark- Do you know the difference?

calendar26 Sep, 2020
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Trade Name vs Trademark

People often confused between the trade name and trademark as they are considered similar. But the fact is both the trade name and trademark are different and both are equally important for a business. One must know the difference between them to decide whether they are in need of registration of trade name or trademark. In this article, you will get to know the Trade Name vs Trademark which is thoroughly elaborated.

What is Trade Name?

Trade name is used to give an identity to any Company or LLP or firm. Such company or firm have to carry on the business under a particular name. During company registration, it is mandatory to provide a unique trade name in which one can use any trade name.

Further, for the company and an LLP, it is mandatory to use a trade name which is different from any existing company or LLP. The ministry must not approve a trade name which is similar to those being used by any other company or LLP registered with MCA.

What is Trademark?

Trademark is the brand name that includes any word, symbol, logo, numerals, or the combination of these. It has distinguished the goods and services of one entity from others. The Trademark Registration protects under the Trademark Act, in which any unauthorized use of any registered trademark is a violation of the law. Hence, one must check before using, whether the brand name is available or already registered by any other person.

Read our article:An Overview on Document Required for Trademark Registration

The Difference between Trade Name Vs Trademark

The Difference between Trade Name Vs Trademark

Regulating Authority

  • The regulating authorities for both the trade name and trademark are different. The Trade name gets registered under different ACT as per the form of business. For instance, a company and LLP are registered under Ministry of Corporate Affairs regulated by Companies Act and (LLP) Limited Liability Partnership Act respectively.
  • The trademark gets registered under Registry of Trademarks and regulated by Trademark Act. If a trademark is to be owned by an entity, then one has to first register the entity (its trade name), and registration of a trademark can be done after that.

Registration Process

  • The Regulatory Authority is different and hence registration process of trade name and trademark is altogether different. The trade name is registered under the different Acts based on the form of business. However, all the types of trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act. Any trade name can get registered except in case of the companies and LLPs. In the Company and LLP, the ministry[1] does not approve a similar or same name.
  • If a trademark is registered with any name, then the ministry will not approve a similar trademark for Company and LLP, where the registration period also gets differs. A trade name is registered in around two weeks, but trademark registration takes at least three-four months.

Legal Protection

  • To secure the brand name one has to take registration under the trademark. It provides a legal protection for unauthorized use of the brand name where one may easily file a suit against such person.
  • But if the person has only registered the trade name and not the trademark, then the other person may use that trademark. In such the case, one can file suit against others, but that requires proving that one party is continuously using such trademark and the usage of the trademark affects that person. Hence, the burden of proof is higher.

Asset Creation

  • The trade name is just the name of an entity. The entity carries on business activity and enters into a contract under such name. It acts as an administrative function where all other tax registrations, filings are done under the trade name.
  • However, on other side, the trademark is an intangible asset of an entity. It adds the value to a business and also creates goodwill in the market for the entity. Trademark is used for differentiating the products from others, where one cannot enter into the contracts or agreement in the name of a trademark. 

Event of Renewal

  • The trade name once registered is registered forever. There is no need to renew the business/company registration.
  • But the trademark is only valid for ten years. If it is not renewed within the provided time period, then one may lose the trademark, which allows others to use the same brand name.

Conclusion

Despite sounding similar, the meanings of both terms are different. They are separately defined under the law, where each of the term serves a different purpose. There is no direct relation between trade name and trademark. Each can be registered independently and provides different rights. It must be noted that a trade name shows “doing business as” while a trademark shows the brand name of the products or services. The best example for Trade Name vs Trademark is “Paytm”, which is a trademark, and its trade name is “One97 Communications Limited”. For more information & assistance, you may please contact our CorpBiz professionals

Read our article:What is Trade Description in Trademark Registration in India

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