How to Trademark a Logo

How do you register a logo trademark?

Need to register a logo trademark? Here is a helpful resource on how to get started in registering a logo trademark with the USPTO.

Need to trademark your logo? Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at 949-223-9623 or email to explore how we can trademark your logo the right way. Want peace of mind knowing that your trademark application was filed properly with minimal risk of delay?

Trademark Name vs. Logo: Should you apply for the name or logo, or both?

In most cases, there are two different ways to trademark a logo that contains wording:

  1. A word mark application to register the wording, also known as standard characters; or
  2. A design mark application to register the stylized logo.

What are the differences between a word mark and a design mark? A trademark application for the word mark, or standard characters, seeks to register the wording regardless of stylization. A resulting registration would provide the owner with the flexibility to change the design of the trademark without having to file a new application. The wording, however, must stay the same. No changes in the spelling are allowed. With a word trademark registration, you cannot add or delete words, but you can change the stylization.

A design mark, on the other hand, protects a stylized logo. In use, the logo must stay exactly the same. You cannot shift the location of different elements of the mark. For example, if certain words are positioned underneath a graphic, you cannot move those words to the right of the graphic. If your design trademark application includes colors, those colors cannot change.

When should you trademark the name vs. the logo?

Filing a word mark application makes sense under certain circumstances. Suppose you made up a creative name that is not similar to any other trademarks. You may have even created your own word. Such names are known as fanciful marks.

Alternatively, suppose you thought of a name or combination of words that may exist in the English dictionary, but have never been used in connection with your particular goods or services. The meaning of your name has nothing to do with your product. Such names are called arbitrary marks.

Both fanciful marks and arbitrary marks belong in the category of strong trademarks.

Under such circumstances, trademarking the wording would give you the flexibility to change up the design in actual use. When the time comes for renewing your trademark registration, you would not need to file new applications even though your designs may have changed over the years.

Should you apply for your logo in color?

Logos usually have color, but does that mean you should include color in your trademark application? This is a strategic decision. To avoid a color claim, file a design mark in black-and-white which will provide you with flexibility to show the logo with any colors in actual usage.

Need to trademark your logo?

Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at (949) 223-9623 to see how we can get your logo trademarked.

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