How to Trademark a LogoStep by Step<br />Presented by <br />Trademark-sentinel.com<br />
What is a Trademark?<br />A trademark is a distinctive: word, name, phrase, symbol, design, or other device used by a company or person to distinguish its products or services from the products or services of other companies. <br />
What is a Trademark? (cont’d)<br />Trademarks are basically brands, and you can protect your trademark or brand by securing the associated trademark rights. <br />These rights allow you to prevent others from using a confusingly similar trademark or brand.<br />
What is a Logo?<br />A logo is a type of trademark that consists of a design that is generally used by company or person and placed on its products or printed material related to its services. <br />Some trademarks consist solely of letters or words without any design, but these would not be considered logos.<br />
Step One: Trademark Search<br />Make sure your logo is available via a Trademark Search.<br />You can perform your own search with the USPTO or Thompson Compumark<br />BUT<br />BUT<br />It is best to hire a trademark attorney who can not only conduct the search but who can better define the search criteria and who has the legal expertise to analyze the search results.<br />
Step Two: Secure the rights to your logo<br />There are three ways that you can do this:<br />Just by using your logo in connection with your products & servicesyou acquire rights.<br />1<br />However, these rights are relatively limited as you only acquire rights in the geographic area in which you are using your logo. <br />
Step Two: Secure the rights to your logo (cont’d)<br />2<br />Second, if you are only using your logo to do business within one state, then you can file an application to register your trademark with the Secretary of State’s office for your particular state. <br />However, this will only provide you with trademark rights to your logo in that state.<br />
Step Two: Secure the rights to your logo (cont’d)<br />3<br />The third way is to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. <br />If you are planning to do business in more than one state, then this is the way to go. If your trademark application is approved (i.e., registered), it will provide you with trademark rights to your logo across the entire United States. <br />
Consult with a Trademark Attorney<br /> Regardless of the method you choose, you would be wise to consult a trademark attorney to ensure that you obtain the most protection possible, as trademark applications can be rather complicated and subject to esoteric procedures and rules.<br />
Step Three: Protect Your Logo<br />After acquiring trademark rights to your logo, you will want to protect it against the unauthorized use by third parties. <br />The best way to do this is to have a “trademark watch” in place. <br />
What is a “Trademark Watch”?<br />A trademark watch will alert you when third parties start using a logo that is too close to yours. <br />You will then be able to decide whether you need to take action such as sending a cease and desist letter or instituting a trademark infringement lawsuit. <br />
How to Order a “Trademark Watch”<br />You can order a watch yourself with the USPTO or Thompson Compumark<br />BUT<br />It is wiser to hire an attorney to put the watch in place. An attorney will have the expertise to advise you when it makes sense to object to another party’s use of a particular logo.<br />
Success! <br />If you follow the above steps, you should successfully legally protect and enforce your trademark rights in your logo.<br />
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