Trademarking your logo can be a great business decision to keep your brand intact and distinguish yourself from the competition, but it can be a complicated process. Here are 11 tips to get you started. Once you are ready to begin the process, call Thompson Patent Law at (512) 649-1046 and get access to our 20-plus years of experience and knowledge.
Tip #1—Design a Unique Logo
In order to be trademarked, your logo must be substantially different from other logos that are already trademarked
Tip #2—Do Your Research
A logo must not resemble any other logo for a similar product or service is not likely to be successfully trademarked due to the “likelihood of confusion.” An experienced trademark attorney can conduct a comprehensive search for you.
Tip #3—Start Using the Logo in Marketing and Advertising Campaigns
Using your logo in conjunction with your brand can help to establish it as uniquely connected to your product or service, and this can help in the trademarking process.
Tip #4—Start Using the SM or TM Designation with Your Logo, Even Before it’s Registered
Even before your logo is officially registered as a trademark you have what is known as a “common law trademark,” and can start using Service Mark (SM) for logos associated with services, or Trademark (™) for logos associated with products.
Tip #5—Don’t Confuse Trademark and Copyright
Sometimes, copyright and trademark are used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. A copyright is a protection for the expression of an idea—for example, the drawing made from the idea for your logo. A trademark, however, is more about the use of that logo for business and protecting your right to use it exclusively.
Tip #6—Don’t Rely on Your Common Law Trademark
While it is true that you have what is known as a common law trademark the minute you start using your logo, this kind of trademark is only applicable in a small geographic area and is more difficult to protect against infringement. Registering your trademark gives you more legal protections against infringement by competitors.
Tip #7—Consider Applying for a State Trademark
If you will only be operating in one state, you can apply for a state trademark, usually through the Secretary of State’s office.
Tip #8—Enlist the Help of an Experienced Trademark Attorney
Trademarking a logo can be a complicated process, and an experienced trademarks lawyer from Thompson Patent Law can streamline things and add to your chances of success.
Tip #9—Apply for a Federal Trademark for Your Logo
Registering your logo through the trademark application process of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives you trademark protection nationwide and gives you legal recourse if your trademark is infringed upon.
Tip #10—Monitor Your Trademark for Infringement
While the USPTO approves trademarks for logos, it does not monitor them for infringement. If you find that your trademark is being infringed upon, a skilled trademarks attorney can help you take action to stop the infringement.
Tip #11—Call Thompson Patent Law to Get Knowledgable Advice and Representation in Trademarking Your Logo
At Thompson Patent Law, we have over 20 years of experience helping businesses large and small get trademarks for their logos. Call us today at (512) 649-1046 to set the process of protecting your logo in motion.