The first thing you do when you have a basic idea of your venture is to name it! Names are an important key to what a society values. ‘Naming is one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.’ This quote by David Slawson aptly states the basic principle of marketing.
The name of your venture is your brand. The name of your product or company is what the consumers or end users associate with. The concept of naming is important as it provides the vivid imagery needed to relate to your idea.
The naming of a venture is an important step in capturing the market and marketing the idea. Your name should encapsulate the essence of what you offer. Though it will take time building your name in the market and in the customers psyche, nonetheless it is important to start the correct way. Here are a few legal aspects you need to keep in mind.
Name for limited companies and LLPs
When deciding to name your company you have to make sure that your name is not the ‘same as’ or similar to the name of an existing company or consisting of any offensive, sensitive or prescribed words without permission.
When applying considers that the following points must be taken care of:
- The name is too similar to an existing company or LLP name
- Within five years of registration, it is found that misleading information was given at the time of registration
- Within five years of registration any conditions attached to the registration have not been fulfilled – example: the provision of support documentation for a sensitive name
- The name is misleading and as a result may cause harm to the public
The legal definition is “any word, name, symbol or device, or any combination of, used, or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods”.
The trademark law prevents businesses from operating under business names or using logos that can or be likely mistaken for the name of an existing company (especially competitor). A small note here. Service marks are similar to trademarks but used to differentiate between services of one service provider to another. It distinguishes the source rather than the product.
Though you may be wondering how a company name is related to a trademark, there is a relationship between them. The name of a company is a “trade name” — the name under which a company does business. The trade name may become a trademark if the company decides to use the same name in association with the sale of its goods and services. Though it may be noted some organizations like the USPTO will not register only trade names, so the trademark rights can overlap with trade name rights.
Eg: The Coca Cola Corporation has a product with the same name as its company and both are under trademark protection.
These were a few important things you need to keep in mind. There may be different regulations for different areas, please keep in mind that some trademarks are regional; so check them out properly before paperwork.
Always remember that your success is dependent on your timely decisions and your understanding of the concept. Keep in mind the words of a very wise man, “Words have meaning and names have power”.