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Trade names

What is a trade name?

A trade name is a name under which a company is managed. A trade name right is created by the use of the name, at least in The Netherlands. It is a misconception to think that the trade name register is determining whether trade name rights have been acquired. The trade name register registers companies and their activities but does not tell whether the trade names are actually used.

A sign board is a classical form of use of a trade name.

 

Trade name protection

Often we advise to have your trade name protected as a trademark because the use of the trade name is often also use of a trade mark for services.

Trademark protection has advantages which trade name protection lacks: the protection of a trade name is limited to the territory the trade name is known. That could be in The Netherlands, but it can also be limited to a specific street, quarter, or city. Moreover, it should be evidenced where the trade name is known.

With a valid trademark registration you acquire protection in the whole territory, e.g. The Benelux without having to prove where the trademark is known.