Words or Logo?
There are two trademark formats that can be registered:
- The standard character format is used to register words, letters, numbers or any combination thereof, without claim to any particular style, size, or color, and without any design elements. Registration of a name in the standard character format will provide the broadest legal rights, namely use of the trademark in any presentation, design, logo or color.
- The stylized or design format is appropriate if you wish to register a trademark with a specific design and/or words or letters having a particular stylized appearance that you wish to protect.
Registration only of a logo and its design elements does not provide the same broad rights as registration of a name or word mark, but generally may be easier to register.
For example, if you have a word mark that may be difficult to register because it is descriptive, it
may be possible to create and register a logo that includes those descriptive words. This would
result in a federally registered trademark even though you may not have any claim to the words contained within your logo design.
However, once registered, the literal elements of the logo (the words) would be found in a trademark search of the USPTO database and could have an extremely powerful deterrent effect on anyone looking to register a similar mark.
As a registered trademark owner, you would also have the right to display the ® symbol on your logo, showing the world you have U.S. federal trademark protection.
Alternatively, logo artwork that identifies your goods or services can benefit from the legal protection
of copyright registration. While trademark law would protect its use in the marketplace for the
specific goods or services, copyright protects the artistic expression of the work.
If your proposed trademark is generic or otherwise cannot qualify for trademark registration, it may
be possible to register the copyright for the original artwork within the logo.
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