Learning how to trademark a logo is a crucial step in protecting the reputation of your business. Getting a logo registered as soon as possible is highly recommended if you plan on using it for an extended period of time. Familiarity with the procedure is essential for doing it right and staying out of harm’s way.
You can hire an attorney to trademark your logo for you, or you can use a specialized agency to get the job done quickly and easily.
Warning: trademarking a logo will take at least six months to complete regardless of the method you choose.
What to keep in mind when trademarking a logo
- No monopoly over a generic concept can be obtained through the use of a trademark. The company name “Yellow Mangoes” is too generic to be trademarked.
- The use of your intellectual property by others in ways that are consistent with the Fair Use Doctrine is not protected by a trademark. Under fair use, the public is permitted to make noncommercial, non confusing uses of protected works such as those bearing trademarks or copyrights.
- Having your logo registered as a trademark only affords you protection in the jurisdiction in which it was originally filed. If you’ve already trademarked your logo in one nation, doing so in another won’t be too difficult. However, if you want your trademark to be protected in more than one country, you’ll need to file for it in each one separately.
- You can get trademark protection for your logo if it’s distinctive enough. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other trademark offices will turn it down if it isn’t high quality and unique.
How to trademark your logo
After you have developed a distinctive logo, you might think about applying to trademark it. The process of trademarking a logo typically involves the following steps.
Where can you trademark your logo?
It’s not enough to know how to trademark a logo; you also need to decide where in cyberspace you want to do it. A logo cannot be globally trademarked in a single process.
Certain countries, like the United States and Canada, require trademark registration. If you’ve already trademarked your brand in one nation and want to expand into further markets, you can do so by applying for a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) trademark.
Therefore, you need first decide where you will be conducting business. In most cases, protecting your trademark in one country won’t help you when it comes to infringement in a different country.
If you know that you want to register your trademark in the United States, for instance, you can look it up in the USPTO database. In most cases, you’ll want to look for other logos that use potentially confusingly similar wording or visual elements to your own. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office maintains a searchable database of trademark registrations.
Free online databases that can be searched by country are widely available. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also maintains the Global Brands Database, which enables simultaneous country-wide searches. The same or similar brand name and the use of the mark in connection with similar products or services, or the use of the mark in conjunction with similar visual features, could lead to consumer confusion.
Conducting an effective trademark search requires expertise and experience, making it somewhat of a skill. That is why it is often advisable to seek the advice of a knowledgeable trademark lawyer who can help with doing such a search.
The Application and registration
Having finished your search, you may be ready to submit an application for a trademark in the jurisdiction(s) of your choice.
Filling out our online forms and paying certain fees are required to apply for a trademark in various jurisdictions. The applicant’s name, the trademark’s name, and the goods and services being trademarked are all examples of the kinds of details that will need to be entered.
Although these forms may appear straightforward, it’s usually best to have a professional trademark attorney look them over before submitting them. This is because it takes experience and training to know how to properly describe your goods and services and to be on the lookout for other common legal issues.
Trademark registries often review (or “examine”) applications, perform searches for potentially confusingly similar marks, and then either grant protection, propose revisions, or object for various reasons.
“Office actions” is a common term for these procedures. Rebutting office actions can range from being as easy as tweaking the wording of your product’s description to requiring extensive legal analysis and argumentation.
The procedure might take months or even years to complete, and third parties may file oppositions to your application if they feel your trademark is too similar to theirs or if they began using their trademark first.
You can start using the ® symbol next to your trademark logo instead of the TM symbol, which indicates that you are exercising trademark rights but have not yet registered the mark, once you receive your trademark registration certificate from the USPTO.
Importance of trademarking a logo
The advantages of trademarking a logo are numerous. It’s not necessary, but it would be to your benefit.
When you trademark a logo, you gain exclusive rights to use that logo. In the absence of a trademark, you may only use the logo inside your own country. This means that a competitor in the next town over or halfway across the world can use a logo that is nearly identical to yours.
Even if you created or used the logo first, without trademark registration you likely have little recourse. If your logo is registered with a trademark, you can block someone else from taking it by law.
If you successfully trademark your logo, you have the legal right to pursue legal action against anyone who uses the logo without your permission. Having a logo registration on your side can be decisive in some legal situations. If someone is using your trademarked logo without your permission, you can take legal action.
Having a logo trademark gives you more leverage in the event of a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Import of foreign goods
If your logo is a registered trademark, you can prevent the import of foreign products that use a confusingly similar logo and could cause trademark infringement.
You can register your logo for trademark protection in other countries once you’ve already done so in the United States. You can now expand into new international markets thanks to this.
What is a trademark?
A trademark serves as a shield against the unwarranted use of one’s creative works. A trademark can be used to protect any name, title, emblem, or symbol that is associated with a particular company. Your company’s logo represents a lot of hard work and money, so protecting it is a top priority.
A company’s logo acts as an icon for the entire brand. Since your logo is the primary means by which customers identify your company, trademarking it is essential to establishing and maintaining a distinct brand identity. Your brand’s credibility would take a serious damage if someone else used your logo for another product.
“Brand” can be thought of as another name for a trademark logo. “NIKE” and “COCA-COLA” are two examples of well-known brands that are also trademarks. In order to secure legal protection for its brand, the owner of the brand has “trademarked” it, making it a trademark as well.
Because of this legal protection, no one other than the trademark owner can legally use the trademark for the same goods and services, and in some cases, no one can legally use the trademark at all, as we will discuss in greater detail below.
People frequently get “copyright” and “trademark” mixed up. Copyright safeguards unique works such as books, movies, and photographs, whereas trademarks protect brand names.
Although having a trademark logo is generally recommended, it is not always required. Even if a small, regional business decides not to trademark its logo, it will still reap significant benefits.
Essentially, you lose nothing when you opt to trademark a logo, even in instances that don’t necessarily call for it. Since you stand to lose significantly more in the event of infringement, which is impossible to prevent.
4 steps for trademarking a logo
Online logo trademarking in 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Before moving forward, check to see if your logo may be legally trademarked
In order to be registered, your logo must be distinct. Stay away from stock images that you might find in other logos.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) logo registration database is a good place to start looking. See if any competing brands have previously trademarked a logo you’re considering using.
Step 2: Register your logo as your own property
Several options exist for securing the trademark status of a company logo, each with their own associated costs. Using your brand immediately is the quickest and cheapest way to secure the rights you need. The fact that it does nothing to prevent someone in another region from taking it makes this a very risky option.
Logos can be registered with the Secretary of State in the state where the business is headquartered. This safeguards your intellectual property within the state, preventing other companies from using the logo without your permission.
Taking the time and money to apply for a trademark with the USPTO is your most expensive alternative. For this process, you would require an attorney or professional agency to aid you with the application because the logo must be precisely stated in words understood by the USPTO. You may have also wondered if there was a way to trademark a logo without spending any money. Consider the investment time frame.
Submitting an application to register a trademark and waiting for it to be processed can take many months.
Step 3: Register the trademark
If your trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you have the legal right to use it throughout the country and bring legal action against anybody who infringes on it.
By registering your logo, you gain the legal standing to prevent the importation of foreign products bearing your mark.
For businesses and sectors plagued by knockoffs that use a logo design stolen from an established brand, this benefit is invaluable. Brands in the fashion or tech industries, for instance, might potentially restrict access to counterfeits of their goods.
If you’ve already trademarked your company’s logo in the United States, you can do the same thing in other nations.
Step 4: Keep an eye on your Logo Trademark Registration.
After a successful trademark registration, you may mistakenly believe that your job is finished.
To prevent any unauthorized use of your company’s emblem, it is imperative that you keep a trademark monitor constantly active. Expert lawyers are available to handle such persistent and laborious cases.
Their duty is to ensure that no one is copying your logo or filing for a trademark that is confusingly similar to yours. An attorney will typically issue a cease and desist letter if infringement is discovered.
The Final Word on Logo Trademark Registration
In a world full of opportunists looking to profit off of other people’s hard work, knowing how to trademark a logo is more important than ever.
A logo should be trademarked as soon as possible. The main drawback is that it is a very technical and difficult process, so almost anyone who wants to undertake it will need reliable legal representation.
Nevertheless, you must take the actions necessary to secure your company logo the best manner you can, even if it requires a little amount of sacrifice.
To protect your brand’s identity and valuable intellectual property. Remember that you need to have a truly original logo in order to trademark it before you apply for a trademark. Contact us for Logo trademark registration service and professional support/