Trade Name Registration
A. What is a Trade Name:
A Trade name or a Business name is the name under which the individual or the company ‘run the business’, and it is different from the name of the company as a legal entity. Businesses use Trade names for advertising, marketing, and sales purposes. It does not contain a design or special characteristics. It is merely a name which is chosen either because it is easier to use or because the preferred name cannot be registered, as there might be a registered Trade Name similar to that.
A company can have different Trade Names each serving a different purpose. Practical advice is that it must be distinctive, and the company can use it, for example, in its letterheads, website etc.
In Cyprus, all Trade Names are governed by the Partnerships and Business Names Law (Cap.116).
B. Differences between Trade Names and Trademarks:
Trade Names and Trademarks are distinctly different from a legal perspective. A Trade Name is an official name under which an individual or company conducts business. A Trademark offers companies legal protection for a particular brand, which may be associated with a Trade Name. Although they might be similar, they must not be confused.
It is vital to be able to distinct a Trade Name with a Trademark, for the apparent reason that if a Trade Name is sufficiently similar to a Trademark from a different company, the proprietor may be served with a lawsuit.
C. Registration of Trade Names:
A Trade Name can be registered, although there is no legal obligation to do so, and the process is rather easy, as it is a common goal not to cause misrepresentation between them and Trademarks. However, the registration process of a Trade Name is a totally separate process from the Trademarks of the same company. It is important to note that a Trade Name is not used as a Trademark, as a Trade Name does not grant Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the proprietor.
Trade Names are often used in Trademarks. A legal problem with the integration of the Trade Name in its Trademark is when it is very similar to or has the same name with another Trademark. In such event, the proprietor may be infringing the other Trademark.
At AP Law Firm, we can assist you with the necessary search in order to ensure that the registration of the Trade Name in its Trademark does not lead to Trademark infringement. But, first of all, we will need to check if the Trade Name has not been already trademarked.
Note that Trademarks prevail over Trade Names, over which companies do not have exclusive rights. If a Company wants to have exclusive rights over its Trade Name, it must register it as a Trademark under the Trademarks Law (Cap.268) or even under the relevant International and EU regulations and Treaties.
When it comes to the registration procedure, it is usually recommended that three Trade Names are chosen. An application for name approval should be filed with the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Republic of Cyprus, under the Partnership and Business Names Law, and it shall be subject to the Registrar’s approval. From our experience, the most common reasons for refusal are the following:
- a similar name exists, and it will cause confusion;
- the name can be deceptive;
- the name is offensive ; and
- that the name suggests a relationship with the Government.
Upon the necessary Registrar’s approval, and within six months of its reservation, is that the proprietor must file the appropriate form for the registration of the Trade Name.
Trade Names last for as long as they are used, and an application for its renewal is not necessary. If the Company ceases its activities or it stops to use it, the Trade Name elapses. Then, an application form is filed with the Registrar of Companies for its removal of the registry.
F. AP Law Firm:
Andria Papageorgiou Law Firm can assist you with the registration of your Trade Name, providing you the following services:
- Legal advice on Cyprus Laws in relation to Intellectual Property;
- Trade Name search and registration;
- Management and Administration services;
- Objection and Removal assistance;
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. Andria Papageorgiou Law Firm is not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in this article and in no event shall be liable for any damages resulting from reliance on or use of this information.