Establishing a strong brand and protecting it is critical to business success. Your name and logo design are some of the most iconic identifiers of your brand. Considering that consumers can recognize a brand from the imagery or design of the associated logo, it is clear that the symbol plays a vital role in helping to distinguish you and your products from the competition.
Small business logo design is a critical component of branding, so you’ll want to make sure it’s unique to your brand. Whether you are trying to build your brand or already have a well-established brand, you will want to get your logo trademarked to protect your rights. You should, however, make sure your logo is unique and that the trademarking process is done correctly.
Why Do I Need to Trademark a Logo?
When starting a business, one of the factors you will need to keep in mind is trademarking your logo. Generally, this should be done as soon as possible to help protect your rights and interests. Below are some reasons why you should trademark your logo:
A Mark of Identification
Your logo is a mark of identification for your brand, a symbol that makes it easy for customers to distinguish you from other brands in the market. If you consistently offer quality products and services, customers will proudly associate themselves with your brand. Preventing anyone else from using your logo will not only help to protect your brand image but also your customers.
Provides an Edge in the Market
A trademarked logo will serve as a status symbol in a saturated market. Essentially, customers will be able to recognize your brand even when the name of your brand is not included. Your logo will build its stand in the market, effectively removing confusion and allowing you to use it to promote your brand on various platforms.
A Better Approach to Reach a Vast Audience
Every business aims to reach a large audience when marketing their brand and products. Once you trademark your logo, you should work on popularizing both the symbol and your brand. This way, you will not have to put your real brand name in the various advertising materials you use effectively, bringing down your advertising costs and helping you reach larger audiences, especially through social sites.
Lifelong Support for Business Expansion
Once you trademark your logo, you get the rights to use it for a lifetime. As the lawful owner of the registered logo, you can use it to accelerate your growth in your industry as well as in another industry. The logo will help you build your brand image among customers, giving you a long-term competitive advantage in the market.
Is it Better to Trademark or Copyright?
Trademarks and copyrights make for a great way to protect your name and logo from infringement. Taking the step of registering both will help to secure the associated rights and prevent anyone else from stealing your logo design or using the symbol for their own purposes. However, it is important to understand the differences between copyright protection and trademark protection.
When you trademark your logo, you will be differentiating yourself from other companies in the same field of business. You will also be notifying others that the symbol is your property, meaning you have the exclusive right to use it for activities relating to your products or services. However, trademarking the logo does not protect against unlicensed copying but rather confusion in the marketplace. Once you register your trademark, you will have legal defense in case of a lawsuit.
A copyright protects a wide variety of original works that are expressed in physical form. These works may include intellectual property, such as your logo. Once you have copyright registration, you will have claimed your right to the property, meaning that you can sue anyone who tries to steal your creation or use the property. For your logo to be considered copyrightable, it must have a certain level of creativity.
In a nutshell, trademark registration offers certain rights that copyright protection does not. Similarly, copyright application will provide different legal advantages from trademark registration. You should consult a legal professional for advice on whether to trademark or copyright your logo.
How to Do This
If you are to be recognized as the lawful owner of your logo, you should go about the trademarking process in the right way. Since this process can be complex, you might want to get started early.
Ensure the Logo is Available
For a successful trademark registration process, you will have to have a unique logo design. It should not be in common use, something generic or too similar to other logos. As such, you should take time to establish whether the logo you have developed is available. You can conduct a trademark search to kick-start the process.
Obtain Ownership of the Logo
The next step will be to secure the legal rights to the logo. There are three ways through which you can achieve this. The first one is to start using the logo, an inexpensive but dangerous option since your legal rights will be limited to the geographical area within which you are using the logo. The second way is to register a trademark for the logo with the Secretary of State in the state that you plan to use the logo. Third, you can file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Secure the Trademark
Registering your logo with USPTO provides several benefits. You will have the right to sue to enforce your ownership of the logo, the right to stop the importation of foreign goods with your logo, and also be able to register the logo in other countries.
Monitor the Use of the Trademarked Logo
Protecting your logo will go beyond registering the trademark with the USPTO. You will need to make sure that no one is using your logo or similar logos. Essentially, monitoring the use of your logo will help to protect you from the adverse effects of another person infringing upon your trademark.
Professionally Designed Logos Available for You
Trademarking your logo is essential to your business success. As such, you should treat the trademark application process with the seriousness it deserves, as well as the design of the said logo.