Trade name vs Trademark: 6 Ways Both Are Different

We all have used “Paytm.” But you would be surprised to know that Paytm is just a trademark. The company’s trade name is “One97 Communications Limited.”

People often confuse trade name for trademarks and vice-versa. But there is a huge difference between trade name and trademark in terms of:

  1. Definitions
  2. Use cases
  3. Examples
  4. Benefits
  5. Legal protection

In this blog, we will see 5 difference between trade names and trademarks along with trademark and trade name examples.

Table of Contents (Click to jump to a specific section)

Let’s clear the confusion cloud around these 2 key concepts of businesses in 2022.

What’s The Difference Between Trade Name And Trademarks?

A company’s formal/official name under which an organization performs its business activities is called trade name. An example of trade name is “PepsiCo.”

While a trademark is a unique mark used to market and distinguishes its products & services from competitors.

Difference Between Trade Name V/S Trademark

Point of DifferenceTrade NameTrademark
DefinitionA name under which a company does business. Thus a company’s name is a trade name. Trade name is also called business name/corporate name/company name. Mostly, a trade name is followed by a corporate identifier: Inc. (Incorporated) and Corp. (Corporation).A name under which a brand or company market its products & services. A trademark can be: SymbolWordPhraseSoundSmellAudioMotion/Multimedia
ExamplesTrade Name Examples PepsiCoMahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) One97 Communications Limited Kirloskar Proprietary LimitedTrademark Examples PepsiMahindraPaytmKirloskar
Where to Register/Regulating AuthorityRegistration & regulating authority for trade names differ from country to country. It can be: County office, orState office, orOffice of their Secretary of State, orMinistry    Trademark registration & regulating authority differ from country to country. Few Examples are: USA- USPTOEU: EUIPOCanada: CIPOUK: IPOIndia: Office of the Controller General of Patents, DPIITAustralia: IP Australia New Zealand: IPONZJapan: Japan Patent OfficeKorea: KIPOChina: CNIPAGermany: German Patent and Trademark Office
Registration Law & ProcessThe trade name of an entity is registered under: Companies Act for companiesLimited Liability Partnership Act for LLPsThe trademark is registered under: Canada:  USA: Lanham Act Canada: Canadian Trademark Law India: Trademarks Act, 1999
Lifetime & RenewalOnce registered, a trade name is valid for lifetime.After trademark registration, a trademark’s lifetime is for 10 years. After 10 years, trademark renewal needs to be done.
Asset CreationThe following functions are performed under a trade name: Perform business Enter into contracts Tax registration, filing, and payment Administrative functionsTrademark functions are: Create a unique business identity Distinguish your brand from other competitors Provide trademark rights to sue any infringer.

Can Trade Name & Trademark Be Same?

Yes, many companies have same trade name and trademark. E.g. Google- Its Company name and trademark both are same, i.e., Google.

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