How to Trademark a Logo

For the last years, you have been working hard on your brand, products, or services. Your brand or products mean everything to you so you obviously want to protect them. But how do you do this? A smart thing to do is to register your trademark…

What is a trademark

A registered trademark is a certain symbol (logo for example), word, or phrase for which someone is the holder; usually indicated by the ® symbol. Using your trademark establishes rights in your trademark, but these are limited and only apply to the area in which you are providing your services.

A registered trademark legally makes the owner the only one who is allowed to use it within a certain market. In comparison with an unregistered trademark, the rules for a registered trademark apply nationwide.

A misconception is that having a registered trademark means that you, for example, own a specific word and thus can prevent others from using this trademarked word. This is not the case. You only own the rights to how that word is used with your products or services. The same applies to other types of trademarks.

What can be trademarked

Almost anything that distinguishes the goods of your party or company from another one can be a trademark. The trademark has to be used in a commercial setting to obtain protection from the law. All brands are allowed to trademark their logo or other types of marks, as long as it is not being used by another company. An overview of types of marks:

  • Wordmarks; a distinctive name under which a product or service is put on the market.
  • Figurative marks; their registration offers protection for the sign as a whole. It does not matter if it’s a design that contains text, or a design that contains text).
  • Shape mark; the shape of a product or product packaging can be a mark.
  • Colour mark; a combination of certain colors can be a trademark.
  • Sound mark; a specific jingle or tune can be a trademark.
  • Pattern mark; unique patterns can be registered as a trademark.
  • Position mark; the consistent positioning of a certain design element (example; a label that is always placed the same way on every product) could be a trademark.
  • Motion mark; a consistent type of movement of an object or element can be trademarked.
  • Multimedia mark; for example, a video clip.

Where are trademarks published

When you register your trademark, it will be published online. However, it depends on the country of registration where your trademark registration is published. Down here are the most common places to find trademarks:

  • For the US, trademarks can be found on the website of the USPTO
  • For Europe, trademarks can be found on the website of the EUIPO.
  • For the Benelux, trademarks can be found on the website of the BOIP.
  • For the UK, trademarks can be found on the website of the IPO.

How do I know a logo is trademarked

If you want to know if a logo is trademarked, you can have to look through the trademark databases in the previous paragraph. Note that if the logo is not published in one of these databases, it is still no guarantee that it has not been trademarked.

How to trademark a logo

You’re not required to register your trademark. You establish rights in your logo trademark by using it, but those rights are limited and only apply to the area in which you’re providing your services. However, a registered trademark provides broader rights and protections than an unregistered one. If you want strong, nationwide rights; we suggest you register your trademark.

You can register your logo or other brand elements yourself, or you can search for a third-party company that does this for you. In both cases, you need to think about where (location) you want to register your trademark. For example; if you live in the US, you file your registration to the USPTO.

Steps

The following steps are a broad description of the process of registering a trademark.

  1. Choose your trademark. It seems a bit obvious, but you need to choose a unique mark that will represent your company.
  2. Once you have chosen a mark, check if it is already registered by someone else. In case it is, you need to choose a different trademark.
  3. File your application. Keep in mind to choose the correct and most specific goods and service class.

Costs

Registering a trademark comes with costs. These costs vary from $275,- USD to $660,- USD at the USPTO. Registration in other countries might have similar costs. You can find more information on costs on the website of registration of the country you plan to register your trademark in.

Table of Contents

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

Browse thousands of exclusive logos on Scalebranding

Logo Theft Check for designers

Check if your logo is unrightfully being used somewhere on the internet.

Paste or drag the image URL into the input field below.

Make sure to allow browser popups