The relationship between a company's name and trademark establishes the company as the exclusive source of a product or goods. When a company uses a specific name, including distinctive stylization or designs, to establish its market presence, the name or design is eligible for trademark protection. A trademark protects the company from other entities using its name or brand stylizations to profit or infringe upon its market share.
Businesses that provide goods to or from the United States often trademark names to establish and protect a brand presence as the exclusive source of certain goods. A company can file for a patent to protect the origination of a good or a copyright that protects works of original authorship, but a trademark protects the branded entity or company as a single and uniquely defined source of a product.
If a company provides a service rather than a tangible product or intellectual property, it is still eligible for legal and market protection. Instead of a trademark, the company applies for a servicemark. The relationship between a company and its servicemark is the same as for a trademark, but the servicemark establishes the company as a single and unique source of a service.
The underlying requirement for trademark protection is use of the submitted name in commerce. Companies establish this use in the normal course of business. Examples that support the relationship between a company's name and its goods include incorporation, tax filings, package branding, inclusion in advertising, marketing or promotion, use in communication with vendors or customers and other means.
The relationship of a company name and its trademark extends to the use of that name within a particular market scope. The company generally has a right to use the name in conjunction with provision of goods and to stop persons or entities who infringe upon its profits through unfair or unlawful use of the trademarked name. The company does not have exclusive rights to production or distribution of a product. That right is bestowed by patent or copyright.