What’s the difference between Trade mark and Trade Name?
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A trade mark is a sign that identifies your company’s products and services. Its purpose is to differentiate your product from others in the market. For example, the SOS rice trade mark is an example of a mixed trade mark that combines graphic and nominative elements. Other trade marks are only nominative and use numbers or letters, whereas some are three-dimensional, such as a box or a bottle.
The Trade Name (also known as DBA) is a sign or denomination that identifies your company and differentiates it from other firms in the market. It is important to note that trade name and business name are different concepts.
The business name is the legal name of a company. It’s the name used, for example, to sign contracts, issue invoices or carry out formalities with public institutions, such as Tax Authorities. One person or legal entity can have several business names to identify different branches of activities.
How to register your Trade mark and Trade Name
In order to register your trademark and trade name you must follow these steps:
Trade mark Registration
Here’s how to register your trade mark:
- Make sure that your trade mark is not the same as, or similar to, any existing trade marks. You can look this up on the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office website.
- File your application. You can either do it online or in person. Online submissions have a 15% reduction in fees.
The application must include:
- A statement requesting the trade mark.
- The applicant’s personal information to validate his/her identity.
- The representation of the trade mark.
- The application is assigned an application number. It first undergoes an initial examination to make sure it’s been done correctly. If any mistakes are found, the applicant will be informed.
- The application is reviewed by a patent attorney. The applicant will be informed if problems are noted.
- The application is published in the trade marks journal to give anyone else the chance to oppose it (within two months).
- The application is further reviewed to make sure it does not infringe on any prohibition and that it contains all the necessary elements.
- Finally, the OEPM decides on the grant or denial of the trade mark registration application.
Trade Name Registration
- For trade name registration the same process applies: it must first be verified that no other company is using the same trade name that you wish to register.
- File your trade name application at the OEPM, either online or in person.
- The OEPM examines it to make sure the application has been filed correctly. It is then reviewed by a patent attorney and published in the trade marks journal.
- The application is further reviewed and a decision is made on whether to approve or deny the trade name registration.
The time required to complete the process depends on the specific circumstances of each case. If there are no issues, It usually takes around 12 months from application for your trade name or trade mark to be granted. It can take around 20 months if there is opposition.
The trade mark and trade name are registered for a period of 10 years. If you want to keep them under your protection, the registration can be renewed indefinitely for 10 years more.
Registering trade marks and trade names can be a complex process, especially if you find opposition on the way. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the help of a business consultancy specialized in carrying out these types of procedures effectively, so that you can operate with your trade mark and trade name in the market as soon as possible.