How to Trademark Your Logo
Trademarks are 100% necessary.
They allow you to lock down your logo: meaning you're the only company in your industry that can use your design. This helps your logo stand out in the crowded marketplace and protects you from trademark infringement lawsuits that force you to undergo entire (read: expensive) rebrands. Here's how to trademark your logo in 3 simple steps:
1. Review your logo
I know you love your logo! But, a lot of designs can't be protected with trademarks. If you can't trademark your logo, then anyone can sell your same products with your same logo. That doesn't help your company stand out in the marketplace and leads to lost customers.
You can't trademark a logo that contains a drawing of exactly what you sell, with no extra design elements.
2. Run a Trademark search
The number of trademark applications is skyrocketing, especially in popular areas like apothecary or apparel products. If your logo is similar to an existing trademark, you won't be able to protect it and you'll likely receive a cease and desist letter in the mail demanding that you rebrand or face a lawsuit.
Let's avoid that!
A trademark search allows you to see if your logo is too similar to an existing company. It's not as simple as inputting your exact logo and hitting search. You'll need to search for all of the major design elements and similar words. Once you get all the necessary search results, you'll need to analyze trademark law and policies to determine if any conflicting results will hold up your application.
It's probably best to call in an expert to run your trademark search. It needs to be done correctly to make sure that your brand is available before you begin a trademark application.
3. File your trademark application
Trademarks give you the exclusive rights to use the name nationally. So if someone else registers your trademark, they’ll own the rights to your name nationally. You'll only be able to use it in your geographic region (typically your city). That's not ideal!
Think about how many brand pieces feature your company name: your website, social media, business cards, products, marketing materials, press links, inventory, etc. If you want to operate nationally, you'll need to change all of that, pull back all inventory with the brand on it, and possibly pay monetary damages. You'll lose customers, money, and valuable momentum.
So, if you find a great name, you need to file your trademark application now!
You'll file your trademark application with the United States Patent + Trademark Office. If everything in your application is good to go, your trademark will usually take between 8-10 months.
Ready to protect your company?
Apply for a Complimentary Consultation. We'll chat about your company, create a strategy to protect it from competitors, and answer any questions along the way.