Do you have to trademark your business logo [You Asked]



Last updated : Sept 14, 2022
Written by : Marisela Redgate
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Do you have to trademark your business logo

What if my logo is not trademarked?

If it's not registered, or the infringement violates a trademark rather than a copyright, you may end the action by issuing a cease-and-desist letter that threatens legal action. If the infringer doesn't agree to stop violating your intellectual property rights, you can file a lawsuit in civil court.

Do logos need to be registered?

In the U.S., you don't need to register a trademark or copyright your company's logo. Once you put down the original work on paper or digital media and use it to market your business, you automatically own the rights. However, registering a trademark affords you an extra layer of protection.

Do I need a copyright symbol on my logo?

Yes. A logo that includes artistic or design elements, (i.e. not just the name on its own), is legally regarded as being a work of artistic creation and therefore will be protected under copyright law. Copyright protects the logo as an artistic work.

Is it better to copyright or trademark a logo?

How to legally protect your logo design. To protect your logo, you need a trademark or service mark (trademarks are generally used for products, while service marks are usually applied to services). You should not copyright or patent a logo design.

Can u get sued for logo?

Federal copyright law protects original works of art and design used commercially, such as logos. If the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, anyone who violates the copyright by using it without permission can be subject to a lawsuit, as well as fines and damages.

How can I protect my logo legally?

If you want to protect your brand identity you have to register a trademark for your company name, logos, and slogans. By using the trademark symbol, you notify other people that products they use are your property. In order to prevent unauthorized use of your mark by third parties, you have to choose a strong one.

How can I legalize my logo?

A unique logo can be trademarked by registering it with the USPTO. Anyone can apply online on the USPTO website if the business for which they're authorized to file is principally located inside the U.S. If based outside the U.S., a patent attorney will be required to make the filing.

How much is it to trademark a logo?

What Does it Cost to Trademark a Logo? The cost to trademark a logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $275–$660 as of June 2020, plus legal fees. You can register a trademark with your state for $50-$150, but federal registration offers a great deal more legal protection.

How can I trademark my logo for free?

Can you trademark your logo for free? You can not register a trademark for free. However, what you can do is establish something known as a "common law trademark" for free. You can do this by simply opening for business.

Can I just put a copyright symbol on my work?

You can place the copyright symbol on any original piece of work you have created. The normal format would be to include alongside the copyright symbol the year of first publication and the name of the copyright holder, however there are no particular legal requirements regarding this.

When should I trademark my logo?

The best strategy is to think about trademarks from the very beginning—ideally, when you're choosing your business name and logo and forming your business entity. Your business name can form the core of your brand, and it can also create serious trademark issues.

Should I trademark before LLC?

It is important to get BOTH an LLC and a trademark and it is best to form the LLC BEFORE applying for a trademark. Each offers different protections, and they work together to provide broad protection for your business. It is better to form an LLC before filing a trademark application.

What comes first copyright or trademark?

Copyright is generated automatically upon the creation of original work, whereas a trademark is established through common use of a mark in the course of business.

How do you tell if a logo is trademarked?

You can search all applied-for and registered trademarks free of charge by using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)'s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). If your mark includes a design element, you will have to search it by using a design code.

What if someone is using my logo?

The first step is to contact an attorney specializing in trademark law. He or she will help you through the next steps: Trademark issues typically begin by sending a cease-and-desist letter to the infringing business and demanding that they stop using your mark.

What if my logo is similar to another?

If another business in the same or related category is using a logo similar to yours, they are infringing on your trade mark rights. The legal options available include: sending a letter of demand; and. taking court action.

How do I make sure no one steals my logo?

  1. Do a trademark search in USPTO or EUIPO for similar trademarks to make sure yours doesn't conflict with another registered mark.
  2. Complete a trademark application.
  3. Wait and monitor for progress.

How hard is it to trademark a logo?

The simplest and fastest way to submit an application for a trademark is online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website. If you're registering your company name, it should take about 90 minutes online. A designed logo could be a more complicated process since the logo has more details.

How do I protect my logo and brand name?

  1. Trademark registration.
  2. Community management and verified social accounts.
  3. Develop brand guidelines.
  4. Define and use your logo consistently.
  5. React immediately to brand infringement.
  6. Build a strong brand presence.

How do I register my company logo?

  1. Step 1: Choose a Unique logo.
  2. Step 2: Apply for Company Logo Registration.
  3. Step 3- Scrutinization of Trademark Application.
  4. Step 4- Show Cause Hearing.
  5. Step 5- Publication in Trademark Journal.
  6. Step -6: Trademark Registration & Certification.


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Do you have to trademark your business logo


Comment by Stephen Sherow

today we're learning all about trademarks what trademarks are common trademark misconceptions if it's worth you even trademarking your name and if so the exact steps you need to take to get a trademark if that sounds good let's get right into it hey i'm quran from life accounting the number one firm for financial education i need you to do me a favor though like this video for me if you want us to create more content about trademarks and subscribe to the channel for more videos like this let me know in the comments if you're going to trademark your name or not so what is a trademark a trademark is a word slogan phrase symbol or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of one good from another and they're issued and managed through the u.s patent and trade office also called the uspto trademarks are intended to minimize confusion that could happen if two or more businesses have the same symbol the same slogan the same logo or the same name so why register a trademark you're actually not required to register a trademark to have legal protection as soon as you begin selling your product or service you become a trademark owner and can enforce your trademark in court if necessary so simply by using your trademark your name your logo your slogan etc you establish rights called common law ownership which might make you wonder why do people go through the hassle to register a trademark well the downside to common law ownership and not registering a trademark is that it only protects you within your geographical region which leaves your trademark vulnerable and eligible for use outside your region if you open a bakery in new york common law does not stop someone from opening a bakery with the same name and the same logo in california if you want stronger nationwide rights and the ability to sue someone federally for infringement you want to register your trademark at the federal level with the u.s patent and trade office additionally getting a trademark allows you to defend your brand against counterfeit products domain squatters and gives you the freedom to use the registered symbol with your logo in total there are four legal reasons called a filing basis to register a trademark and you're required to specify the basis you choose on your application the two most common are the intent to use basis meaning your business has not started using your trademark yet maybe you haven't started your business yet but would like to get the application process started note that while you can apply under an intent to use basis your mark will not be registered until you convert the application to one based on the second filing basis which is use in commerce using commerce basis meaning you are currently using the trademark while selling or transporting goods and services all right let's talk about strong versus weak trademarks there are actually different types of trademark and depending on the type it may be easier to get your trademark approved or you may be denied completely so let's explore the different types first is the generic mark generic marks actually do not qualify for a trademark as they are marks that are words and phrases commonly used when conducting business in that industry for example the word water water by itself cannot be trademarked as it is a common noun that should be able to be used by all businesses who sell water then you have the descriptive mark descriptive marks describe a product or its ingredient quality characteristic function feature purpose or use an example would be high definition for tvs in general descriptive marks do not qualify as a trademark unless it becomes so popular indistinguishable that the word becomes a secondary meaning for the brand examples where this has worked is the sharp brand of televisions next is the suggested mark suggestive marks suggest something about the product or service without actually describing the product or the service examples include airbnb or the car company jaguar for this reason suggestive marks generally do qualify for a trademark as they are not common nouns for that industry let's go back to jaguar as an example a jaguar suggests speed and sleekness but most people do not think of a car company when they hear the word jaguar then there's the phantom fill mark fanciful marks also known as coin marks are words or phrases that did not exist before because of this fancy fold marks are the easiest type of marks to obtain and they offer the widest net of protection nike or google are amazing examples of a fanciful mark then you have the arbitrary mark an arbitrary mark is a word or phrase that includes a common phrase but not one that is associated with an attribute of the brand think about the term apple though the word is common it has nothing to do with computers arbitrary marks are also easy to obtain then there's a special category and type of mark called the service mark a service mark is similar to a trademark but distinguishes businesses that provide services from businesses that provide goods many companies like apple or starbucks will have both a service mark and a trademark as they provide products and services now other trademark types do exist like a certification mark that shows products and services or goods have met a standard and collective trademarks that indicate membership in a group or distinguished products and services of members from non-members now let's look at a few unacceptable trademarks yup let's briefly talk about things that are not trademarkable wait is that a word let's talk about the things that cannot be trademarked once again generic trademarks as previously mentioned generic trademarks are words or phrases that are used commonly when conducting business in that industry as an example ben and jerry's can't trademark the word ice cream you also cannot trademark existing trademark you're not able to trademark a word or phrase that is already a registered trademark within the same class of products or services for example multiple piece of businesses are not able to register the name dominoes but both domino's pizza and domino sugar can trademark the word domino as they are not in the same class of goods and services and lastly you can't trademark similar unregistered trademarks yup even trademarks not registered are often recognized by the federal government once again the goal of trademarks is to limit confusion and if another business in your industry or state has the same name your trademark application can be denied by the way if you like to learn the right way to form your business fund your business and understand the finances of your business use the 30 off coupon in the description it's for the money smart startup course and that coupon code expires soon all right let's talk about the steps to apply for a trademark step one is to determine approval eligibility you're going to want to consider the trademark category you are applying for to determine the likelihood that you will be granted the trademark in the first place in general marks that are unique and descriptive have the best chances the last thing you want to happen is t


Thanks for your comment Stephen Sherow, have a nice day.
- Marisela Redgate, Staff Member


Comment by Loree

question the day here today when should you trademark your business name or your logo or your brand I'm gonna tell you just a second hey my name is Jim Hart I'm the founding attorney here at Hawthorn law and you might be wondering gem why are you sitting on the floor in front of this couch with the lighting that's awful to be perfectly honest it's because I'm in our land over them at the airport and I made this stupid terrible mistake if you've ever been to the Orlando Airport they have this atrium and you can either get a room that overlooks the atrium or you get a room that overlooks the runway typically I get a room that overlooks the runway they didn't have any available I flew in early this morning I needed a nap I just I was like I need a room fit the bullet I got this room but the lighting is not nearly as good as what I'm used to in the other room check out some my older videos and you'll see how much better the lighting is in those rooms anyway not that you really care you want to know when to trademark your logo or brand hold on a second I was talking to a client yesterday I did a I've still got some spots available for next week but I opened up a consult I greatly reduced my rate from $350 an hour to $200 an hour for a limited time to open up some half-hour slots between now and Christmas so you can get a consult with me if you need to consult for $97 I'll link to the link up here to get more information on that but anyway I was having a consult with somebody who took advantage of this offer earlier this week and one of the questions we were talking about was when they should trademark their brand or their logo or whatever this is a great question the appropriate legal answer is that you should trademark your brand name as soon as you possibly can that's not always practical there's some people that that for whatever reason because the money is tight or whatever they can't do it right away but if you've got a really good idea for a brand and you want to make sure nobody else starts stealing your intellectual property you need to get that trademark as soon as possible get that puppy trademark so that would be my official legal recommendation is to anyone who asks you need to get it done as soon as possible now there's there's a couple ways that you can go about trademarking a brand especially when you're just starting out the first way is if you're actually using it to sell products or services then you can just go ahead and file a trademark application to get a trademark immediately if you're not yet using it to sell products or services but maybe you've got it on your website and you're just kind of starting to build up a business but you haven't actually used it to sell anything yet and you've got a great idea you want to make sure nobody steals it then you can file what's called a notice of use trademark application which is it's it's the same application you just check a different box in the application and basically what happens is you go through the same process then you're given a period of time where you can start using the trademark because the trademark doesn't actually provide you any protection unless you're selling a good or service and so what you get is you get you get extra time to start selling your good or service your goods or services maybe that's a better way to say that anyway you get extra time and then if within that period of time you can either file for an extension or if you start using your trademark you file a notice that you've started using the trademark and then the trademark will register and then you're good to go from there but if not then you get an extension and you've got a couple extensions so in all I'll told you can get a couple of years to basically start using that trademark and if you don't start using the trademark then you can just abandon the application and it goes back out there into the the world is anybody else care plan for that trademark if they wanted to my advice to you is if you're looking to build a business or a brand that you really want to grow and you think that you've got a really great name that that you want to protect then you want to trademark that brand or name as soon as possible I think a great example of this was and I forget her name the woman who created Spanx she didn't tell anybody about her brand for a year for at least a year there was an interview I heard where she was talking about this I'll try and link up down below to the interview with this woman it was on a podcast and she talked about how she went through methodical steps to do everything she could to protect the brand Spanx through she filing her patent application getting the process patented and her trademark and everything else as soon as she possibly could without telling anyone about what she was doing and then when a time came for her to start selling she had it all in place that's a great example of why you need to do it early because she had a great name a great concept and she wanted to make sure it was protected I'll do another a video on all the different reasons why you should trademark your brand but I just wanted to do this video to answer those questions for those of you out that are wondering when you should do it how soon you should do it if you want to do the trademark application yourself I don't recommend it but you can do it yourself if you've got a good name that's easily too tricky I just can't talk today if you've got a good name that's easy to trademark you can probably do it for the cost of the filing fee which is around three hundred dollars if you really want some legal guidance and you want to do a search and you want to figure out if anyone else is using this trademark and you want some help doing all that you've got two choices you can either hire an attorney which this is something that we do to do this for you or you can join our DIY legal program I'll include a link up here where we do a tutorial on how to trademark your brand and how to come up with a good name and all those type of things and that's something that we're going to include in that program so so there are other ways to do it they're a little bit less expensive anyway that's it for today I hope you're having a great day I also have a free training I'm gonna link up up here if you want to watch a replay of the webinar that I did several months ago that has gotten a lot of positive reviews you can go ahead and do that that's it for today folks have a great day don't forget give us a thumbs up comment below if you've got a question you know just type trademark and let me know that you're listening that you understand what I'm saying or if you just have a comment that you want leave a comment below and ask a question that's fine we'll use that for future videos we do not answer illegal questions in YouTube comments that is a big no-no don't forget to subscribe yeah that's down here and hit the little Bell thingy and can get notified whenever we post new videos we're posting videos about once a week going forward for my DIY members I'm looking to do a Q&A call every Friday for them I don't th


Thanks Loree your participation is very much appreciated
- Marisela Redgate


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