In our day to day as industrial property attorneys, what is the difference between trade name, corporate name and registered trademark is a question that arises frequently.

Considering each term independently we find that a trade name is a title that grants the exclusive right of using any sign or designation as a company identifier in commercial dealings. Trade names are industrial property titles.

Trade names are independent from the names of companies which are registered in the mercantile registry as a corporate name.

The corporate name is therefore the name and signature by whom a commercial company is known collectively, limited or anonymously. It is the legal attribute contained in the deed or constitution document that allows a corporation to identify and demonstrate their legal constitution and to invoice, pay taxes, etc.

However, a registered trademark is any sign capable of being represented graphically which distinguishes in the market goods and / or services from the others exclusively. The owner of this industrial property right which grant exclusive use may be a natural or legal person whose name does not have to match the name appearing on the trademark register.

In summary, these three concepts presents few differences::

  • The corporate name is a legal attribute that gives name to a legal entity, but that does not grant to it exclusive right to use such name.
  • Registered trademarks distinguish goods and services in exclusive.
  • Trade names differentiate a company from the others in the market and may coincide or not with the name of a company registered in the mercantile registry.

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