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Trademark v Trade name what is the difference?

So you have a brand that you want to protect and are not sure where to start or how to protect it or do not know the difference between a Trademark v Trade name.

There are two different main ways that you can protect your brand or name:

1. Trade names – at the State Level – usually through the Secretary of State.

2. Trademarks – at that Federal Level – through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)

We have talked with a lot of clients that tell us that they have their brand protected and after further looking into where they have filed, they have only filed with their states Secretary of State as a “doing business as” or “dba” which protects that name of your company at the state level as a “dba”.

Trade names

For example, in Arizona you can go to Arizona Secretary of State s and file for your trade name. This is not a federally protected trademark through the USPTO.

A trade name is only at the state level and is defined as  “the official names under which companies do business, and they are used to identify companies, businesses, or partnerships, not goods or services. They are also known as “fictitious names” or “assumed names.””  Justia.


Whereas, trademarks are defined as “a type of intellectual property that is used to identify and distinguish one source of goods from another, and make it easier for a consumer to quickly discern who has produced a particular product or object.” Justia

Trademarks will protect your brand that is related to your goods or services in all 50 states. If you plan on selling your goods or services online or want to federally protect your brand, we recommend that you file with the UPSTO. The risk of not filing is that some else may file the same name selling the same goods or services and if you were not using it first you will now have a legal battle on your hands proving that you where using the mark first in commerce.

Trade names help consumers identify your business without the LLC, Inc., etc on your business name or identify another name you wish your company to be called by.

Additionally, it will allow you to get a bank account under both your business’s legal name and your “dba” trade name.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions on either a Trademark or Trade name. We work with trademark clients through all 50 states and more specifically in Phoenix and Mesa Arizona, and Tucson, Arizona. You can reach us at info@accelerateip.com or call 480-360-7414.

Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

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