CAPS… or no caps? When registering a trademark… for many business owners, that is the big question. They simply want to know whether trademarks are case sensitive and how much it really matters if they change the way they use uppercase and lowercase letters down the road. Let’s take a deeper look…
Case Sensitivity in Trademarks
In trademark law, the primary concern is the likelihood of confusion between different marks. The case of the letters in a trademark, whether uppercase or lowercase, is generally not a significant factor in determining the likelihood of confusion. However, the overall appearance and distinctiveness of the mark, including stylization and font, can play a role in trademark protection.
When registering a trademark, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) typically an attorney will file a standardized format of the mark using uppercase letters. This is generally done to make it easy to see what mark is being applied for. The practice of filing a standardized format ensures that the trademark owner’s rights are protected irrespective of the case or font used in the actual mark. In other words, registering a trademark in a standardized format provides protection for both the uppercase, lowercase, and any stylized font versions of the mark.
Trademark Distinctiveness and Protection
Although case sensitivity is not a significant factor in trademark law, the distinctiveness of a mark is crucial for obtaining protection. A mark must be sufficiently unique and distinguishable from other trademarks to be eligible for registration. Remember, the more distinctive a mark, the stronger its protection.
In general, however…
To answer the question, “Are trademarks case sensitive?” – no, they are not if you file in a standardized format. The case of the letters in a trademark is not a determining factor in assessing the likelihood of confusion. But again, as previously mentioned, the overall distinctiveness and appearance of the mark, including stylization and font, can play a role in its protection. It is best practice to file a standardized format and stylized if you use a distinctive appearance or logo.
If you have additional questions or need assistance with registering your trademark, contact our trademark attorneys at (888) 666-0062 or click here to schedule an Initial Discovery Session online. We are here to help you navigate the process and maximize your trademark protection.
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.