It is important to trademark your company’s logo in order to protect it from being misused. Consult a trademark attorney’s expertise to guide you in the process.
What You Need to Know In Order to Trademark Your Company’s Logo
A news story caught the attention of several companies awaiting the formal confirmation for a trademark in 2014. A woman who added Skywalker to her name could not get her passport renewed as her signature resulted in an infringement of an existing trademark namely L. Skywalker. The name of a company along with its logo happens to be intellectual properties that are sacrosanct and cannot be used by anyone else publicly to depict a brand or a name.
Remember, how you can recognize a company by glancing at a logo? Well, the logo needs to be protected as per the law and needs to be marked as a trademark associated with a particular brand or product as well as a service. It is necessary to protect a logo, image, a word or group of words and have it registered by the ‘Intellectual Property Office’ in order to protect your intellectual property (IP) and safeguard it from being misused.
Difference between Trademark & Copyright
You would often come across the word copyright when researching about intellectual property. The word copyright differs significantly from a trademark. It concerns the creative side of an owner and protects all kinds of artistic works including musical pieces, literature, drama, and films as the sole property of its creator. An author can well give up his/her ownership and hand the copyright of a particular work to a publishing house or a film studio thus giving the right to convert the written work into a film or a work of literature.
Although there is a subtle difference between the two, you can indeed register a group of words as both a copyright as well as a trademark. Remember the popular phrase that makes you think instantly of McDonald’s? ‘I’m loving’ it’ is a phrase that had been coined exclusively to promote the brand and is an original slogan unused by anyone else before. However, most companies prefer to have such a slogan registered as a trademark as it is easier to prevent infringement of a trademark than proving plagiarism for a three-worded phrase.
After you have checked the trademark basics as well as the various aspects of intellectual property laws, it might be the right time to contact a qualified trademark lawyer. Your brand is indeed dear to you and needs to be treated as an intangible asset. Your products have the trademark stamped on it clearly and it is this image or logo that is the key to differentiate the product from that of your competitors. Sure, you want to keep it protected at all costs. The best way to go about it is to meet with a trademark attorney who has the requisite experience in dealing with IP matters.
How can a trademark lawyer help you?
- The trademark attorney will explain the process in layman terms so it’s easier for you to understand. Even if you are may be familiar with the definition it is always helpful to let your lawyer explain it in detail so that you become aware of the law. The importance of registering a trademark will also be explained to you by your lawyer. He is certain to discuss the pros and cons too.
- You may be aware that texts, images as well as logos can be trademarked. However, the attorney will be able to provide you with more information including letting you know that an offbeat shape along with a particular sound or audio can also be protected as a trademark. This will help you to find the best form of a trademark for your company. The attorney will be able to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each and assist you in identifying and choosing a strong trademark for your brand that is sure to receive maximum protection from being infringed upon.
- The trademark attorney can also help you to decide on the class or category of your trademark. This is sure to be perplexing as your company may market a number of products suitable to be included in more than one class. It is, therefore, a good idea to request your lawyer to register the trademark in multiple classes.
To register your logo the summary of steps are as follows:
- Perform a search to make sure your logo is unique. Though you can do it yourself; the expertise of a trademark attorney will help you better define the search criteria and also make better sense of the search results
- If you file your trademark application with the USPTO, you’ll have rights to use the logo all over the United States. If your business is in a specific state like Pennsylvania, you can opt to register it with the Secretary of State’s office.
- Once you’ve obtained the rights to your logo you should protect it with a proactive watch, this is offered by various legal agencies. This service alerts you of any infringement or when someone is using logos that are very close to yours.
The seasoned attorneys at Paul & Paul have over 170 years of experience in litigation and prosecution of intellectual property. If you are looking to trademark a logo, or are interested in any of our other IP services, please call us at 866-975-7231 to speak with a legal representative today.