Marketing Aptitude: Trademark

A trademark is the legal version of a brand. It is the exclusive property of the seller i.e. why it is shown on the assets side of the Balance Sheet. When a brand is registered and legalized it becomes a trademark. A brand is registered under the Trade and Merchandise Mark Act, 1958.  Thus, we can say all trademarks are brand but a brand can be called as a trademark only when it is legally protected and has been appropriated by one seller. Many authors define the term ‘Trademark” in the following manner:

  • American Marketing Association: “Trademark has been defined as a brand, which is given legal protection because under the law it has been appropriated exclusively by one seller.”
  • Copeland: “Trademark is any sign, mark, symbol, words or words which indicate the origin or ownership of an article as distinguished from its quality and which others have not the equal right to employ for the same purpose.”
  • William J Stanton: “All trade marks are brands and thus include the word, letter or numbers which may be pronounced; they may also include pictorial designs.”
Differentiate between Brand and Trade Mark
  • Registration: Any name, word, letter, symbol, design or any sign composed by combining them is called brand. If the same sign is legally registered in the concerned government office, it called trademark.
  • Legal Protection: If a brand has not been registered, anyone can copy it and there is no provision of any penalty. On the other hand, Trademark is the protector of a brand and it gives the owner right to sue any unauthorized use of the trademark.
  • Scope: The scope of brand is limited, while the scope of trademark is wide. Any business firm can use different brands for its different products while it uses only a single trademark for all of them.
  • Nature: All trademarks are brand but a brand can be called as a trademark only when it is legally protected and has been appropriated by one seller.
  • Use: Brand can be used by all but trademark can be used by the business firm who got it registered in the name of the firm.

In simple words, we can say brand helps in identification of the product and the company, while trademark helps in preventing others from copying.

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