Your logo design, which uses a logo mark, a typographic solution, or a combination of the two, identifies your company in the most basic way possible. Logos are the most fundamental visual representations of your company. The logo for your business is crucial since it exudes pride in the brand, its caliber, and its guiding principles. Through logo design, your brand is conveyed on everything from your business cards and website to social media and even your products.
Trademarking a Logo
Intellectual property is shielded from theft and infringement by trademarks. A business name, title, logo, or other sign can be protected as a trademark. Because your company’s logo was developed with a lot of work and money, it must be protected.
A corporate logo serves as a symbol for your brand. Since your logo serves as the primary means by which customers know your company, trademarking it is essential to maintaining its exclusivity. If someone were to use your logo for another brand, it would create confusion and seriously damage your credibility.
A “brand” is frequently referred to by its trademark. For instance, “NIKE” and “COCA-COLA” are trademarks in addition to being brands. They are trademarks as well since the brand’s owner “trademarked” the brand in order to get legal protection.
Legal protection often prevents anybody other than the trademark owner from using the mark for similar products and services, and in other cases, no one is allowed to use it at all, as we’ll discuss in more detail below.
People frequently mix up the terms “trademark” with “copyright.” In general, copyright protects creative material, such as a book, movie, or image, whereas a trademark protects a brand name.
Although it is often advised, registering your logo as a trademark is not always mandatory. Even if a trademarked logo is not mandatory for small, local businesses, there are nonetheless significant advantages.
In essence, you gain nothing when you choose to trademark a logo, even though the circumstances don’t necessarily need it. Because you lose considerably more if infringement occurs, which is something you can never foresee or be prepared for.
Importance of Trademark Registration
A trademark registration for your logo has a number of advantages. Although it is not necessary, there are several benefits. Here are some advantages:
By trademarking your logo, you are given first dibs on its use. If the logo is not a registered trademark, you may only use it where you are physically located. This implies that anyone, anywhere—even in the next town—can use a logo that looks close to or is the same as yours.
Even if you designed or used the logo first, there probably won’t be much you can do to stop it without trademark registration. If your logo is protected by a trademark, you have legal recourse to prevent others from using it.
You have the legal right to sue anyone who uses your logo without your permission or approval after trademarking it. In certain circumstances, merely having the emblem registered as a trademark is sufficient to win the legal battle.
In addition, you have the right to file a criminal complaint against anybody who uses your trademarked logo improperly.
Having a trademark enables you to get compensation for damages in the event that you need to sue someone for violating your logo trademark.
Import of Foreign Goods
Having a registered logo trademark, you can prevent or block the import of foreign products with a logo that may violate your trademark.
Foreign Trademark Registration
Once your logo has been registered as a trademark in India, you may do the same thing elsewhere. This enables you to expand your company into international markets.
Process to Trademark your Logo
How to online trademark a logo in four easy steps.
Step 1: Your logo is accessible
You must confirm that the logo you have produced is eligible for trademark registration prior to taking any further action.
Your logo needs to be distinctive to be registered. Avoid using generic or widely used images since they could resemble other logos.
Step 2: Get Ownership Of Your Logo
There are various ways to secure the rights to your company’s logo, but each requires a different level of commitment. Start utilizing your logo right away to obtain rights in the simplest and most affordable manner possible. However, because it does not deter others in other areas from taking it, this is exceedingly hazardous.
With the Secretary of State in the state where your business is headquartered, you may file a trademark application for your logo. This safeguards your legal rights there, preventing businesses from other jurisdictions from stealing your logo.
After filing, a trademark application is handled over a period of time.
Step 3: Secure The Trademark
If your trademark is formally registered with the USPTO, you have the legal right to use it throughout the country and to pursue legal action in the event of infringement.
Your logo trademark gives you the power to prevent the importation of items from abroad that have your logo.
The importance of this advantage cannot be overstated for businesses and sectors that battle the proliferation of products with stolen brand logos. For instance, fashion labels or technological firms would be able to prevent imitations of their goods.
Step 4: Monitor Your Trademarked Logo
Think again if you believe that registering a trademark successfully ends your effort.
To safeguard your logo and make sure no one else is using it, your business must keep a close eye on trademark usage. Attorneys with specific training handle this kind of demanding, continual job.
They have to keep an eye out for anyone trying to trademark a logo that looks similar to yours or utilizing your logo. The attorney issues a stop and desist letter in the event of infringement.
Things to Keep in Mind While Registering a Logo
You cannot get exclusive rights to anything generic through a trademark. Yellow Mangoes cannot be copyrighted as a company name because it is too simple and generic.
A trademark cannot prevent other parties from making lawful uses of your intellectual property in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine. Fair Use permits the general public to employ works protected by copyright and trademark in a way that prevents consumer misunderstanding.
Your logo is only protected by a trademark in the nation in which you registered it. It is simpler to trademark your logo in another nation after having done so in the first place. However, if you want legal protection in every nation, you must still register a distinct trademark there.
Your logo will be eligible for trademark protection if it is robust enough. Trademark agencies will reject it if it lacks quality and uniqueness.
Enforcing your trademark and copyright rights
Once your trademark and copyright are registered, it is your responsibility to protect your name or logo from unlawful adoption or duplication by anybody else by pursuing your trademark and copyright rights.
You are in charge of defending the rights to your company’s intellectual property in the event that someone tries to use it, even though the United States Patent and Trademark Office will make sure that no one registers a mark that is the same as yours or seems to be an exact replica of it.
When pursuing legal action to defend your trademark from infringement, you have two alternatives. Either write a stop and desist letter or file a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
To be sure that no one else tries to use your company’s mark, there are businesses that may assist you in setting up a “trademark watch.” Additionally, you may pay an attorney to keep an eye out for trademark infringements so that they can advise you on the best course of action to take in order to get the protection you require.
A lot of people choose to work with an attorney to assist them throughout the full copyright and trademark procedure, to speak of. However, because you can accomplish everything on your own, having one is not only optional but also unnecessary.
We will undoubtedly assist you during the trademark application filing process, hiring your own trademark attorney might have advantages if you ever require legal counsel.
We will only get in touch with your attorney during the full trademark registration process if you choose to employ a private trademark counsel before submitting your application.
A private trademark lawyer may also provide you advice on how to protect your rights in the event of trademark infringement and what to do if someone accuses you of copying their company’s logo.
How the trademark approval process works
Only after you’ve already submitted your application will we examine their trademark database to see if the mark you want to register is still available.
They will let you know when the results are ready. They will reject your registration and you won’t get a refund if they discover the identical mark or one that is quite similar to the one you are attempting to register for a trademark.
No matter whatever application format you use, you must provide the following details:
a color (if appropriate) representation of the trademark in its identical form as it appears in commerce.
the trademark owner’s full name, address, and email address.
the firm or commodity that the trademark designates, together with evidence that your company’s trademark is being utilized commercially.
The signature of the owner.
The examining attorney will authorize your mark for publication in the “Official Gazette,” a weekly publication of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, if they find that your application complies with legal conditions for approval.
Anyone who believes they may have been harmed by the trademark registration of your mark has 30 days after publication to register an opposition to the trademark registration or a request for an extension of the opposition period.
Your trademark registration will be accepted and you will be given a certificate of registration by the Trademark Office if the opposition is unsuccessful for the party that filed it or if none at all. Because you must inform the Brand Office that your trademark is being used, maintaining your trademark registration is essential.
Following the approval of your trademark registration, you must submit particular maintenance documentation. Your trademark will expire or be canceled if you don’t do this. Additionally, your trademark must be verified between the fifth and sixth years of trademark registration and between the ninth and tenth years of trademark registration in order to ensure that it is still in use.
The trademarking procedure may be very challenging. Even with extensive study, there’s still a good chance you’ll make a few blunders along the road. Fortunately, there is a different strategy.
Find a business that can manage the entire procedure on your behalf if you don’t have the time or patience to go through it all on your own.
You aren’t compelled to pay until you really have the trademarks you require, and everything is fully legal and transparent.
While copyright and trademarks may both protect your intellectual property, they do it in different ways since they safeguard various distinct sorts of assets. While a trademark focuses more on protecting elements that define and identify a company’s identity, such as a logo, a copyright protects literary and creative works.
The assets of your business include more than just your cash. They also include intellectual property that may increase the value of your business, therefore you must safeguard your rights to it to prevent unauthorized use by others.
That sort of protection is provided by copyright and trademarks, therefore you must register logo in order to safeguard your brand.