Trademarks and trade names are distinctive signs that are protected through titles awarded by the state. These grant the title holder exclusive right to their use in economic operations and to prevent others from using protected distinctive signs or other identical or similar signs applied to identical or similar products or services in Spain.
Trademarks are signs allowing business people to distinguish their products or services from the products or services of competitors.
Trade names are signs or denominations identifying a company in trade activities and serve to identify it, separate it and distinguish it from other companies undertaking identical or similar activities.
The corporate name is the name that identifies a legal entity in mercantile operations as the subject in legal relations and is therefore subject to rights and obligations.
The trade name does not have to be the same as the corporate name and the two may therefore be different. A natural person or legal entity can have various trade names for identifying business activities which belong to different economic activity sectors.
Therefore, a trouser manufacturer could register the name he uses for his manufacturing business activities as his trade name, which serves to distinguish the company from other business people. The corporate name is the name which must be used, for example, to sign contracts and register employees for the social security. The sign or name with which the trousers are commercialised will be the trademark of the product. All of these can be, at the business owner's choice, the same or different as required.
The corporate name is the equivalent of the "civil name" of a private individual and the trade name is the "artistic name" that the person may use to present to clients in the marketplace.
Trademarks and trade names are registered with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office; corporate names are registered in the Central Mercantile Register.
A trademark is a sign that serves to distinguish products and services on the market.
A trade name does not represent a product or service and instead serves to identify the trade activity undertaken by a company and to differentiate it from all other companies in both the same and different sectors.
The trademark is the distinctive sign par excellence and can be extended internationally through procedures established via the international or European procedure for registering a trademark. In contrast, it is not possible to do this for a trade name, which can only be protected on a country by country basis and in accordance with the national regulations of each State.
A trademark is a sign that serves to distinguish products or services and that can include two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms. Industrial design is an exclusive right granted to a product's external appearance and it has different requirements to a trademark. Two-dimensional forms are eligible for protection (for example, the pattern on a tie) as are three-dimensional forms (for example, the shape of a suitcase, the bodywork of a car).
This is the address of a company, organisation, association or person on the internet and it enables their information, products and/or services to be made accessible throughout the world, via the internet.
It has a dual purpose:
- It is the identifier on the internet that serves to identify the company or the trademarks of its products and services on the web.
- It is the web address, being the simplest, fastest and most intuitive way of locating a site on the internet.
There are three levels of domains on the internet:
- First level domains are those ending in com, gob, edu, org (and others) and are assigned by institutions designated by ICANN. No prior checks are required to register .com, .org or .net domain names and they are assigned on a “first come first served” basis.
- Second level domains are those that identify the country. In Spain, Red.es is responsible for assigning these domains, and they are awarded to the first person to request them, provided they meet the requirements. Domain names that have been previously assigned cannot be the object of an application. They must also comply with certain syntax rules and cannot include reserved terms in a series of lists (internet terms, terms relating to national or international institutions), as set out in the corresponding regulations.
- RED.es is also responsible for assigning third level domains: “.com.es”, “.nom.es”, “.org.es”, “.gob.es” and “.edu.es”. These third level domain names are assigned by giving priority to those who apply first. Domain names that have been previously assigned cannot be the object of an application. When “.gob.es” and “.edu.es” domain names are assigned, it is first verified that they meet the requirements outlined in current legislation and that they comply with the syntax rules. Third level domain names of “.com.es”, “.nom.es”, “.org.es”, must also comply with syntax rules and cannot include reserved terms from a series of lists (internet terms, terms relating to national or international institutions), as set out in the corresponding regulations.