The Importance of Trademarking a Logo

Aug 5, 2020 | Tips

Designing a logo is the most exciting moment for any business. A logo/brand is a visual representation of an organization. This is also a representation of your brand, product, and services.

Do you need to trademark a logo?

Nowadays, your customized and originally designed logo is protected by “common law” rights as soon as you start using the design on your online and offline marketing materials. But, this may not stop your competitors from creating a similar logo or business name. This is where filing a trademark for your logo will come in.

Do you have to trademark your brand?

Based on a survey, almost 90% of business owners tell that trademarking is an essential part of their strategy not just internationally but also locally because it is developed to protect the brand, logo, design, etc. Protect the brand so you can protect your business.

What will happen if you don’t trademark a logo for your business?

Let’s imagine that you are a small business that came up with an amazing design. You paid money for it and started to market it. As your brand becomes more recognized and your sales grow, your competitors will determine your business existence. Maybe a year or two later, you might receive a lawsuit.

This lawsuit says that your logo is too closely similar to your competitor’s logo. The opposing team states that your logo/brand looks pretty similar to their own and resulting in customer confusion, loss of brand uniqueness, and loss of revenue. By then, you will possibly need to pay a fine and go back to the drawing board to remodel your logo design.

Unfortunately, this is a common thing that could happen for small businesses who didn’t take time to trademark their name and logo. To avoid situations like this, we always recommend trademarking a logo. This is a legal issue that tells other businesses that your business name and logo design are yours.

What does the trademark protect?

Trademarks will protect the words, symbols, and designs of your brand/logo. The purpose of a trademark is to determine a brand’s identity in the market. In this case, your logo will make your brand unique from your competitors and will set as a representation of what goods or services you provide to your customers.

Where can I do a quick online search to look up existing trademarks?

Nowadays, there are lots of platforms that can be used to look for an existing trademark. However, one of the most helpful resources is the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You can visit them here :
https://www.uspto.gov/

What is the course of action of trademarking a logo?

The process of trademarking a logo is simple. The most complicated thing is the originality and/or uniqueness of the logo that you would like to trademark.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Ensure to complete a Trademark Search.
  2. Secure your rights.
  3. Submit the initial application by visiting uspto.gov on the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)
  4. Fill out the TEAS form for the initial application. Make sure to upload your logo.
  5. You must submit the “intent-to-use” form. This form states how and where the logo will be used. If other uses are added in the future, you must file a new “intent-to-use” form.
  6. Pay the fees. There will be a $325 fee for the trademark application. 

What are the requirements for Trademark Process?

These are the following requirements needed to initiate a Trademark Process.

  1. Name of the applicant
  2. Address of the applicant
  3. Description of products/services the applicant commercializes
  4. Name of the trademark
  5. The basis for filing: “Actual Use”, “Intent to Use” or “Foreign registration”

Source: https://bonamark.com/

Online Process for Trademarking A Logo

In just a tap of your fingers, you can initiate the process online. You can visit https://www.uspto.gov./trademarks-application-process/filing-online. For your reference, you may check this out.

For the online process, you may visit this link https://teas.uspto.gov/forms/bas and follow the steps promptly.

Do you need an attorney in filing in USPTO?

To be clear, it depends on the location of your permanent residence.

If you are a:

  • Foreign Applicant
    • You need to hire an attorney to represent you at the USPTO who is licensed to practice law in the United States
  • US Citizen
    • You don’t need to hire an attorney to represent you. But we also encourage you to hire a U.S.-licensed law officer who specializes in trademark law so you can have a guide through the registration process

Conclusion

During this time of the pandemic, we have to be very careful about our decisions. We always need to think if a certain thing that we plan to do will benefit us. We recommend trademarking your logo and/or brand to protect not just your uniqueness but also your reputation as a company.