Trademark vs Tradename

Your trademark is the shorthand for your brand promised. It is often a registered trademark, but you have extensive intellectual property rights in a name without registering it formally with the patent and trademark office of your home country (ant others).

Your tradename, on the other hand, is the full legal name that you do business under. It it is the name your registered with the state or county in the USA, or with the government in other countries.

For example, Ford® is the registered trademark. Ford is the brand and you expect to find them at www.ford.com (though this is not always the case). But their actual company tradename is Ford Motor Car Corporation.

Similarly, Sun® is the trademark, but Sun Microsystems Inc. is their full tradename, and the name they are incorporated under in a given state.

Also, Starbucks® is the world’s most famous coffee shop name. It is their trademark as a name. It is also a trademark as a logo (the mermaid in a green circle). Starbucks Coffee is also a trademark of theirs. But the full tradename in the USA is Starbucks Corporation. In Japan, for example, their tradename is Starbucks Japan, but the brandname and the trademark are still Starbucks. They even have a lot of subsidiary corporations, and as a result the Starbucks trademarks are registered to Starbucks U.S. Brands LLC (of Nevada).

See also Trademark & Naming Resources for more in-depth discussions of more trademark related issues, as well as resources on where to file your trademark applications and company registrations.

 

<– Return to Naming and Branding Articles

All articles copyright Brighter Naming. You are welcome to link to these articles, but not to copy them in any manner whatsoever.

Naming Articles

New brand insider articles from an experienced marketing team. Learn all the basics of naming, branding and trademark registration from these free reports:

August 2016: How to select a naming agency.

July 2016: How to get International Trademark protection.

March 2016: You received a cease and desist letter. Now what?

May 2015: How can one product line have many trademarks?

Jul 2014: What roles do copyrights and patents play in protecting names?

Jan 2014: Predictions for 2014 and Free Offers.

Our naming gurus follow and comment on current naming practices worldwide.


See the latest Name Critic ratings for names like Skype, Pinterest, Etsy, etc.


Follow @namiac on Twitter

Linked In

Share this page on LinkedIn:


See his industry naming commentary (where he takes a critical look at names) via the blog on this site