A logo can be an integral part of your company’s identity and ideally one of the main ways that consumers will identify your goods or services. Think of the Nike swoosh or the McDonalds arch. It only takes a single glance at these logos to recognize the companies behind the iconic brands.
There’s no doubt that design and branding elements are critical when creating a memorable logo. Yet equally important are trademark considerations. The purpose of your logo is to distinguish your goods and services from others. If your art is confusingly similar to another brand or the design is “too weak” to serve as a real identifier of your product, your logo will not serve its ultimate purpose and may even result in a lawsuit.
It’s a delicate dance between art and legal functionality, but the tips below can help you to create a logo that will ultimately be protectable from a trademark perspective:
- Be as original as possible. This goes without saying; there’s a fine line between inspiration and creating a design that is “confusingly similar” to another brand in a similar class of goods or services. When it comes to trademarks, imitation is not flattery and could ultimately get you sued.
- Decide How Married You Want to Be to Your Colors. If you decide to trademark your logo down the road, you’ll have to make a commitment to your colors. If you ever change those colors, a new trademark application will be required. You also have the option of registering your trademark in black and white (grayscale) or a combination of both color and grayscale. Your options really depend on your budget and your goals, so it’s something to keep in mind while you’re still at the drawing board.
- Conduct a Trademark Search. Once you’ve settled on a design, it’s a wise idea to consult with a trademark attorney before you begin using it in commerce. Your attorney can help you conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that your concept does not infringe on something that already exists. Your attorney may also offer suggestions or changes that can help make your logo the strongest version possible.
Of course, if you are working to design a logo and you have any questions during the process, we are here to offer assistance and guidance. Contact our office at (888) 666-0062 to schedule a complimentary consultation with the mention of this article.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.