Filing a trademark application in the name of individual or company name?

Should I file my trademark application under the company name or my own name? Which option would I benefit the most from? These are popular questions many businessmen often ask when they start up their business and invest lots of money and efforts in building the brand name for themselves and their company.

In fact, if the company is solely owned by the owner himself,  all the company’s activities depend on such owner. However, if the start-up company is owned or invested by several individuals, one question is raised that who should own this trademark (or in fact it is often referred to as the brand name), or in another words, the trademark application should be filed with the IP Vietnam in the name of one individual or the company.

Legal grounds

Article 87. Right to register marks

  1. Organizations or individuals shall have the right to register marks to be used for goods they produce or services they provide.
  2. Organizations or individuals lawfully trading in products produced by others shall have the right to register marks for such products, provided that the producers neither use such marks for their products nor object to such registration.

As such, under the current law and practice, it does not limit the right to file trademark application to individuals or organizations. That means that any individual or organization has the right to register the trademark used for his/their products or services. However, each option has different advantages or disadvantages, below are some of our analysis:

In case the trademark application in the name of an individual

Trademarks are also considered an asset of a business. Thus, if the trademark is registered in the name of an individual, the mark can be considered as an individual’s capital contribution to that enterprise.

If an individual wants to immediately register a trademark for his business to avoid being lost to others but at that time the procedure for establishing a business has not completed, he or she can register the trademark under his personal name to keep priority right, then transfer the trademark to the enterprise thereafter.

If the business is shared by several members, but the trademark is the creation of a member, the trademark registration should also be registered in the name of such individual, then transferred to company for use.

In case the trademark application in the name of a company

In case the company wants to use the trademark to affix it to the goods or services it provides, the trademark registration in the name of such company will be more convenient as it is not required to prove the use status with the authorities or to proceed with transfer/assignment procedures after registration.

Trademark registration in the name of a company also helps to solve the problem of profit sharing in cases where a company has several shareholders and the trademark is collectively created by all shareholders.

Thus, whether to register trademarks under the name of individuals or organizations depends on the purpose of the trademark registration, and the specific context of each case to make the most appropriate decision. Apart from matters related to filing a trademark application, the naming and formation of a trademark should also be carefully considered by enterprises.

For any information related procedures and required documents related to trademark registration, please contact ANLIS for detailed advice.

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