Difference between company name and trademark

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In short, it can be said that the trademark is the distinguishing feature of your product or service and is registered by PRV, while the company name is the name of your company. You can register your company name with the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

Company names and trademarks

All companies have a company name, many also have one or more trademarks.

Company names

The company name should make it easier for customers and others to find your particular business. The name should make it possible to distinguish your company from other companies, associations and trademarks. You can construct your company name in a variety of ways. It is important to keep in mind that the name should be perceived as a company name. It must also comply with the rules applicable to company names.

Read the rules on the Swedish Companies Registration Office website (in Swedish)

How is the company name protected?

For sole traders and trading partnerships you get protection for the name in the county where the business is located. Limited companies and economic associations get name protection nationwide.

The exclusive right to a company name applies to the business you have registered for the company.

Examples of company names:

  • Letter combination + business words: CK Bicycle Workshop.
  • Fantasy words: Cajin.
  • Fantasy words + business words: Cajin Finance.
  • Person name + business words: Bo Alm’s Carpentry.
  • Geographical names + business words: Sundsvall Bowling.  

A company name may not:

  • Just describe the business, such as Bicycle Workshop.
  • Be able to be confused with any other company name or trademark.
  • Give the appearance of being a domain address.
  • Include words that imply another form of business; for example, a sole trader may not include the abbreviation AB (Swedish for ltd.)
  • Include a word suggesting a business other than the business the company conducts; for example, a company whose company name contains the word “veterinarian” must carry out veterinary activities.

Company names are registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (in Swedish)

Trademarks

A trademark is a distinguishing feature of your company’s products or services, and distinguishes you from your competitors. For example, the trademark may consist of one or more words, a graphic symbol, a product, a packaging or sounds and melodies.

It may be advantageous for you to use imaginative words in the choice of trademark, it increases the chance that your trademark will be unique and not at risk of being confused with someone else’s trademark. The trademark is a way for you and your company to create recognition and added value among customers.

Benefits of registering trademarks

Registering a trademark has many advantages. It gives you exclusive rights to the trademark and can increase the value of your company and a clearer position in the market can lead to better business.

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What do the symbols mean?

™ Trademark

The TM symbol is used to indicate that, for example, a word or figure is used as a distinguishing feature for a business operator. Use of the ™ symbol has no legal meaning in Sweden.

® Registered

The R symbol is used to indicate that a trademark is registered as a trademark. The use has no legal meaning in Sweden, but it is a violation of the Marketing Practices Act to use the ® symbol if the trademark is not registered.

Trademarks are registered with PRV (Swedish Patent and Registration Office)

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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