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6 Major Differences Between Brand Name & Trademark

Despite the uncertain circumstances all over the world, the business is booming. You would people opening new businesses all the time and that is what makes them search for the logo design service online. However, there is one thing that they are often seen confused about, despite having their own business. What is the major difference between a brand and a trademark? It is imperative for the business owners to know the difference so that when they pitch to the higher authorities for expanding the business, they use the right terminologies. Logo design agency further helps in making the brand identity for both a new and the old brand.

When I was starting a new business even, I was confused about brand and trademark. The one thing that kept me pretty occupied was creating a brand identity for my company and for that, I was looking for someone who could make a logo for me. Throughout the branding process, the one thing that I was most worried about was looking for someone who could make me a logo. That was one big hassle but gladly logo design agency like Ingenious Guru came through and helped me get my branding done.

However, one problem stays the same and that is. What is the difference between a brand and a trademark?

Let us make it clear for you!


The name of the brand is usually given by the owners of the whole company. Company it is written in capitalized form to emphasize its importance of it. However, in recent times now that the time has changed brands are also using a bi-capitalized form like the famous “iPod” or “eBay”. The name of the brand helps in revealing the true intention of the brand. It allows the marketers to develop a strong and powerful brand identity along with the product image or the positioning of the brand in the target audience’s mind.

We all can agree on the fact that one of the most important things to do while creating your brand is to decide on the brand name. This job should be done even before launching your product or positioning your brand in the market. Further, it is also allowed to use the inter-brand under the name of the brand in order to pass on the key benefits and characteristics of the services and the products.

Now coming to another part of the question.

What is a trademark?

Well, here we go a little more legal. In formal terms, it is famously known as the mark of service or intellectual property. The trademark is connected to the different kinds of signs, designs, logos, and other expressions that are used for the identification of a service or product of a particular source or company from other competitors. In case you already have a registered trademark, you would definitely be using a symbol ® with your brand name. Further, there are multiple differences between the services and the products. In the case of the services, the brands use SM on the other hand, for the products, words like TM are used. These trademarks are used in the services of the common law.

Any individual, legal entity, or business organization can own a trademark. It is generally used on the package or can be used as a voucher, or the label, and even for the corporate identity. Apart from these usages, you can use a trademark for company buildings as well. These are the positives that you see when you have a registered trademark. It also becomes a kind of identity for a brand.

We are not going to leave you hanging like this, we are going to dig deeper for you and explain the difference in detail.

Major Differences

Main Concept

Mainly for the consumers, the brand name is a “memory heuristic”, as it is one easy and convenient way to keep the preferred service or the product in their mind. Brand names are one important part of the whole branding of the organization. The brand name is generally used to write, speak or even identify the service or product to differentiate it from the other brands offering the same service or product. The main idea of the brand name must not be confused with that of the trademark.

On the other hand, trade is the connection with the commercial source along with the products/ service origin. When we look at it conceptually, we would see how it is the same as the “badge of origin”. To make it simpler, it would not be wrong to say that the trademark helps in legally protecting the brand name.


When you go deep into it you would see how many different kinds of brand names are there in the market out there. Starting with the initialism (initials of the brand name), descriptive (product benefits are also included), foreign names (other languages word such as French and Italian), founder’s name (name of the founding people), combination (the combination of the different words and names).

Similarly, on the other hand, there are various types and kinds of a trademark as well. Such as the service trademarks include the source of goods, the arbitrary, the fanciful along with the suggested trademarks. The suggested trademark includes protected and strongest trademarks. Apart from them, there are descriptive and generic, simply descriptive, and finally, the trade name which identifies the company as the whole.

Legal Difference

When we talk about the brand name it is pretty apparent that it is not legal in any way. The company just sometimes randomly or sometimes after conducting extensive research decides upon the name for their products or services. There is no legal liability attached to the brand name therefore you are free to choose whichever you suit is the best for your brand.

When you talk about a trademark, you can be sure that it represents your products and services legally.

  • Linked With

Coming to the brand name again, it is directly linked with the personality, reputation, vision, and culture of the company. Simply talking about the brand name clearly explains “what the whole company is all about”.

On the other hand, when we discuss a trademark, it is linked with the package, color scheme, and symbol of the company. The trademark protects the company so that all its competitors do not use the same descriptions that confuse the final customer. They try to make everything simple and easy for the customers, whether it is just a brand name or it is a trademark for your company.

  • Restrictions

The whole brand name of your organization is safe and protected in the country where you have your brand name registered. It suggests that no one in your state or your country can use this name for the brand. However, you cannot stop brands from other countries or states to stop using this name. If they are using it in the other state or in the other industry, they can take the same name, there is no legal binding on them to not use the same name.

However, in the case of trademark, it is the intellectual property that legally safeguards your brand identity that no one else is using your mark anywhere else. It further gives government protection as well.

  • Length of use

The best thing about the length of use is that there are no restrictions on it when it comes to the brand name at the local level. Similarly, because of the brand name’s non-registration, it can be used by other brands as well. The US patent and the registration office of trademark states that a trademark can be used for 10 years and is protected until that. The whole 10-year period further includes “renewal between the 5th and 6th year of following the registration and in one year before the end of all the 10 years by only filing the Affidavit that is used.

Wrapping up!

One thing that MUST be discussed is that both the brand name and trademark are important assets for any organization out there. Oftentimes people confuse these two names as a single term and end up mixing them both. Until and unless your company has the registered trademark other companies or organizations can use your brand name. However, when you have a registered trademark, you can keep your brand name protected.

Nicole is a Digital Marketing professional based in New York, who has over six years of experience working in different industries. Nicole's expertise includes social media marketing, SEO optimization, and email marketing.

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