Is Trademark Applicable to Company Name ?

Does the Company Law Provide recourse for name misuse? The answer is Clear NO
 

In legal sense, while the above instances may be contested under common law as a ‘passing off’ action, there are certain benefits which the proprietor can seek by registering the firm/ company name under the Trademarks Act.

To understand the benefits let’s go with the basics first –

The Trademarks Act, 1999 defines a “Trademark” as a mark capable of distinguishing the goods/ services of one person from those of other’s. “Mark” includes a name. Thus company name can be registered under the Act. The Act further states that a trademark shall not be registered if its use in India is liable to be prevented by virtue of any law (which can include Company law) particularly the law of passing off.

The new Companies Act, 2013, vide Section 4(3) read with Company Incorporation Rule 8(2)a(ii)), states that a company shall not be registered with a name which includes the name of a registered or a pending trademark.

Though both laws complement each other in protecting the interests of the respective registered names/ marks, a legal recourse for misuse of a company name/mark can only be taken under the Trademarks Act. 

Hence registration of company name under the Trademark law gives the company a handle to exclusively use the name as well as to restrict any kind of misuse of its name by third parties.

A company name (including the company logo) is the corporate identity of a business and most importantly, represents the reputation and goodwill of the company earned over years’ of hard work and should be Trademarked on Priority

Vanitha

Co-Founder, White Money Consultants

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