Finding the perfect logo design for your business can be a big task all by itself. Once you finally find a logo designer or use a logo maker and finish up your logo, it’s time to consider doing a trademark on your logo. Probably only 90% of people that have a logo design actually trademark the design. It’s not completely necessary to have a trademark to protect your design. If you can prove your design was designed and paid for by you, this can sometimes be enough to protect your design. If you are worried about someone stealing your logo and you are unsure if you should trademark it, then just trademark the logo and set your mind at ease.
Pursuing your own business can bring about a whole range of feelings, from excitement to tedium. However, one of the more exciting activities to engage in is the design of the company’s logo. Your logo will give off the first impression of your company, over and over, as it is displayed for all to see. That could mean adverts, websites, business cards, billboards, and even commercials. While you want your logo to represent you in the best ways possible, you also have to make sure that you are representing your logo correctly. In order to do this, you need to trademark your logo and we’re going to tell you how to go about it. From large businesses to smaller businesses, there is a way for everyone – depending on how thoroughly you want to personally own your logo.
First and foremost, you’re going to want to roll up your sleeves and do your homework! You are going to have to ensure that no one has used, or is using your logo. You want to make sure that your logo is as genuine and as unique as possible so that it doesn’t replicate or resemble another logo that could already be trademarked. The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a coding system for design elements but due to the high number of design elements and combinations, it has reportedly been complicated to use this method. When in the beginning phases of trademarking, it is often best that you search for similar logos and/or text graphics in similar businesses first, and expand your search from there. Once you have designed your logo and verified that it is genuine to your company, you are ready to consider trademarking it.
There are a few different ways to trademark your logo, although the less effort put forth, the less secure your logo will be as far as ownership is concerned. Let’s start small and then we’ll move onto the big one – small, in this case, means localized. That being said, if your company is strictly local, you can simply register your logo with the current Secretary of State serving the state your business is located in. By doing so, however, your logo will only be trademarked in that specific state and will be available to use freely elsewhere. Essentially, this means that if your business logo was trademarked in Florida and someone from Ohio started using that same logo, you would not be able to legally challenge them for the theft or plagiarism of your creative design. Here’s a trademark guide for logos if you want to learn more.
For those larger businesses that want to keep their logos secure and able to be used nationwide, you are going to want to apply to trademark your logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Most consider this the most expensive, time-consuming route because it is extremely important to utilize a trademark specialist or lawyer in order to ensure all information is thoroughly accurate. The application process can prove to be rigorous and overwhelming with the biggest feat being to describe the logo and all of its components accurately. These can range from color, position of graphics, fonts, and even details on where and how you intend to use your logo . By using an experienced professional, you will be more likely to cover all of your bases on the application itself and raise your chances significantly of completing the process successfully. The biggest downfall to this process, is the time it takes for an official answer to be given. Some have suggested it could take six to eight months – perhaps even more depending on how large their current workload is.
Once you have cleared the application process and have secured your logo, you are going to want to monitor its usage. Not only do you want to keep a clear track of how and where your logo is being used by your own company, you will also want to monitor other businesses to ensure your logo hasn’t been taken. Luckily, there are lawyers and professionals that do just that. They will accurately and thoroughly keep track of your logo and inform you if it has been found being used by an unauthorized person or business. This is the best way to guarantee your logo is not being exploited or used inappropriately.
Of course there is one last, inexpensive option, albeit not very attractive. You could simply just use your logo and hope for the best, but this is not a legal trademark by any means and if someone else trademarked it – you would have to begin anew. The best and most sound advice to retain all rights to your logo is to go through the process of legally trademarking it. For official information, you can visit https://www.uspto.gov/ and choose where to begin making your logo official.