What is the difference between a trademark and a logo or a brand

1. Trademark

Concept of trademark

Article 4.16 of Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual property 2009 stipulates that “A trademark is any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations, individuals.”

For example, P&G (Procter & Gamble) has Downy fabric softener, and Unilever has Comfort one … The trademarks “Downy” and”Comfort” distinguish the products and goods of the different manufacturers.

The trademark is sign in the form of letters, words, drawings or images, including holograms, or a combination thereof, represented in one or more colors. The trademark is shown on the product or its packaging.

The scope and limitation of protection: Despite the restriction on protected products and registration for protection, the limitation of protection for trademark is quite high. The trademark will be considered to be an asset if its owner is granted a Certificate of trademark registration by Intellectual Property Office. In other words, the trademark does not belong to anyone’s ownership who have not been recognized by authority. Strict examination of trademark registration is stipulated in the law on intellectual property with many protection conditions

For the protected trademark, anyone using this trademark without permission of its owner shall act of infringement and handled according to provisions. Other persons who use a trademark that is identical with or confusingly similar to it can be handled according to the owner’s request

2. Logo

Concept of logo: A logo is a graphic element, a symbol of a brand or trademark attached to its typeface. In other words, it is arranged in a unique typeface or arranged in a personalized way. The logo is to easily identify, remember and impress the consumer.

For example, Unilever’s logo is in the shape of letter U stylized by patterns

Scope of protection: Although protected fields are unrestricted, the scope of logo protection is limited than that of trademark protection.

Logo can be registered as copyright. It is easy to be granted a certificate of copyright registration by authorities. However, the mechanism for protecting copyright is quite loose. It is difficult to prove that the logo has been duplicated because there is no searching system. In case of dispute, the time and the procedure for processing are complex and  time-consuming. Besides, the result depends on many other subjective and objective factors.

3. Brand

Concept of brand: A brand is a collection of signs, relationships, consumer experiences, etc.. in the process of using products and rating its quality. In other words, the brand is the commitment of the quality of the product, ensuring the reputation of the product.  The brand image can be displayed in many products, each product has its own trademark

For example, ‘Unilver’ brand image can be seen in many different products such as Pond’s, Omo, Closeup, Dove. with separate trademarks

Scope of protection: Law on Intellectual Property in Vietnam has not had governed brand, therefore, the brand is not subject matter protected

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