Business name or a Trademark?
It is very common to confuse the notions of a “trademark” or “business name”.
Also, it is a fact that many people tend to believe that registering a business name, grants exclusive proprietary rights in the name or the logo of a business.
However, registering a business and/or company name does not give you any proprietary rights. Only a trademark can provide that kind of protection.
If you register a business and/or a company name, you do not automatically enjoy the rights vested in a trademark.
Registering a company name and/or a business name gives you no rights other than to stop someone else registering the exact same name at the Companies House. If you need to stop someone from using a trademark that is the same or similar to your mark, your company name registration is no basis of an objection. The same applies for a domain name. Again having a domain name will be of assistance in case someone infringes your trademark.
Register a trademark in order to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trademark you obtain exclusive proprietary rights of the trademark (or even confusingly similar trademark) in the chosen jurisdiction.
The name of a company is not an intellectual property right. However, very often a company name can also be registered as a trademark.
If you wish to trade using a name other than your registered company name, you must register that trading name as a business name.
A business name is the name under which your business operates. Registration identifies the owners of the business. Registration is not compulsory.
Unlike trademarks, business names do not provide proprietary rights for the use of the trading name.
ALFA LIMITED can be the name of a company
ALFA BEER can be a trademark
A.D ALFA DRINKS can be business name