Assumed Name (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

An assumed name is the name under which a company conducts its business. Assumed name is also known as a trade name, corporate name, or business name. An assumed name identifies the business itself, and trademarks identify the goods or services sold by the business.

Generally, assumed names receive protection as trademarks, because they often meet the trademark law requirements of use in commerce, distinctiveness, and unobjectionable content. However, assumed names can obtain protection under the Trademark Act and common law of unfair competition, even if they are not used in direct connection with the sale of goods or services.

States require the registration of assumed names when doing business under a name other than a legal name, in order that the true identity of a company/person can be found. A state will register or reserve an assumed name as long as it is not identical (or near-identical) to a name already registered. However, a trademark that is far less similar to an existing trademark than near-identical can infringe a prior mark.