[Part 3 of our Brand Rights blog series]
In the third part of our Brand Rights blog series, we first introduce the registered company name as a brand right, which is essential for every company. Jani Kaulo points out that "many may confuse the concepts of a company name and a trademark, even though they are two different things". Read on to understand the differences between company name rights and trademark rights.
The function of a company name: Distinguishing the company
A company name refers to the registered and official name of a company, including any parallel company names and auxiliary company names in the country where the company is registered. Establishing a business without a registered name is not possible. In Finland, company names can be found in the trade register, and they can be searched through the YTJ company search service.
The primary function of a company name is to distinguish the company from others. It must sufficiently differentiate from previously registered company names in the same industry to be accepted as the official name. If the proposed name is not accepted, the registration authority will notify the company and request new company name suggestions.
Company name registration does not create trademark rights
Despite similarities, many people may confuse company names with trademarks, but they are distinct. A company name is a crucial part of a company's identity and is protected differently in various countries. However, a company name does not grant rights to a trademark, which is a separate brand right.
A company name alone does not distinguish the products or services offered by a company from those of similar businesses unless the company has also chosen the same name as its trademark. However, company name registration does not create trademark rights; a trademark must be registered separately.
Company name alone is insufficient as a brand right – further, it cannot be licensed
It's important to note that in many countries, a company name alone may mean weak protection or no protection at all. A company name is not a true name right but rather an essential means of identification for a company. For companies engaged in international activities, relying solely on a company name for protection is inadequate. Therefore, registering trademarks in different markets is highly advisable.
While a company name can always be used in business operations, it cannot be used as a trademark, indicating goods or services. In other words, a company name may not protect against someone else using a similar name for similar products or services.
Additionally, it's crucial to understand that company name rights cannot be licensed. This means a company cannot grant another company permission to use its name in specific situations or markets. Trademark rights are required for such licensing agreements.
Do you want to grow the value of your brand rights? Contact us!
BRAND ELEMENTS INTO BRAND RIGHTS, [Part 1 of our Brand Rights blog series]
BRAND RIGHTS INTO BRAND VALUE, [Part 2 of our Brand Rights blog series]