Corporate Name Registration Issues


A Trade Name, Business Name or Corporate Designation May Also Function As A Trademark; however,

  • A Trade name use may not necessarily be a trademark use. If you use the trade name, business name or corporate designation either non-publicly (for example, as a private holding company) or solely to indicate the name and address of a business, the trade name, business name or corporate designation may not function as a trademark and may not be registrable with the USPTO.  On the other hand, there are many trade names, business names or corporate designations that also function as a trademark for a particular good and/or service.  For example, Microsoft or Apple.   It all depends on how you use the name.  We can assist you in making sure that if your corporate name is also your trademark and that you use it in a proper “trademark sense” so as to achieve USPTO Registration.
  • Registration or clearance of name with the Secretary of State does not mean that you have the exclusive right to use that name.  Clearance or registration by the Secretary of State only means that no other party registered that particular name as a corporate designation in that state.  Most states will allow corporate name registration as long as the proposed corporate name is not identical or nearly identical to the prior registered name.  Nevertheless, just because the Secretary of State allowed the corporate name does not mean that the name is available for use as a trademark   The reason is that corporate names have a different legal significance than a trademark – the corporate name identifies a legal entity while  a trademark indicates the source of a product or service.
  • Always conduct a trademark clearance search prior to adopting any corporate designation. Based on the above, we strongly recommend that clients conduct a trademark clearance search prior to adopting any corporate business name that may also be used by a third party as a trademark outside the particular state.

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TrademarkAuthority was founded by an expert trademark attorney and former U.S. Trademark Office Examining Attorney who has over twenty-two years experience representing clients on a variety of trademark and copyright law issues. Our legal services include trademark searching, filing trademark applications, responding to USPTO Office Actions, filing Statements of Use, representing clients before the U.S. Trademark Office, Federal and State courts, maintaining trademark registrations, monitoring, policing and enforcing trademark rights and filing copyright registrations.