If you’re trying to decide whether to trademark your name as a logo or just the words themselves, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
What Is a Trademark?
Let’s start by identifying what a trademark is. A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these things that identifies your goods or services. It’s how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors.
The word “trademark” can refer to both trademarks and service marks. A trademark is used for goods, while a service mark is used for services. A trademark protects you from others using a confusingly similar trademark to your registered trademark.
Filing Both Logos and Words
Clients will often want to file both a logo and a word related to their brand. You may be in the same boat. You can file for the (1) literal word mark alone (standard character); (2) logo alone (in color, if you have specific colors); (3) the logo in black and white (not claiming any particular colors); or (4) the literal word mark and logo together. In a perfect world you would file all types to obtain the broadest protection.
There’s no question that filing for all versions noted above would provide the broadest protection against infringement, but it can be costly and for the logos it requires that you always use the mark in the exact same form. This can be restricting and may not be the best choice for the brand over the long term.
Filing for a trademark on just the literal words gives you more flexibility in how you use the mark since you’re not restricted to using it in conjunction with the logo or special design. So, we usually suggest that a client first seek to protect the literal word mark.
Weighing Your Options
Ultimately, the best option depends on your individual business needs and goals. If you need help weighing the pros and cons of this decision, please contact us at (888) 666-0062 or use our online scheduling tool to book a complimentary appointment. We can review your goals and help you create a plan that is in line not only with your budget but your future vision for your business.
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.