How to Trademark & Copyright Your Brand's Name (or Logo) in 2023 (2023)

Your business has a name, and it also needs to have its own recognizable logo in order to establish a visual representation of your brand. The logo needs to perfectly reflect your company’s market niche and brand personality. It should also be unique enough to differentiate your company from the competition.

Because your brand name (blog name) and logo are part of the DNA of your brand and your business, applying for registration of the copyright and trademark of both is an important consideration.

Do you need to register a trademark and copyright for your logo or brand name?

You certainly don’t have to register the copyright and trademark your company’s name or logo. In the United States, you own the copyright as soon as you put original work on a piece of paper or computer drive, and you win a trademark as soon as you use your name and logo for marketing your business.

However, taking the extra step of registering both can give you important protection. Registering the trademark protects you from losing your rights to it if some other company uses the same or a highly similar name. By registering your trademark name, you’re declaring exclusive rights to it for your line of business.

If you own a small online business which you operate in one state and don’t plan on expanding into new markets, you don’t need to register the trademark of your name. You already have the right to use it in your market.

On the other hand, if you plan to expand your business, explore different ways to earn money, and reach out to new markets, it would be wise to register the trademark, so that no confusion arises if another company is using the same or a similar name as yours.

If you start a blog and design a new logo for it, you need to protect it. When it comes to registering your logo, simply by using it, you are creating a trademark. You are creating a visual representation of your brand since your logo is what your customers recognize you by and it’s what distinguishes you from your competitors.

However, a trademark does offer more protection, since it prevents others from stealing your logo or using one that’s very similar to yours.

By simply using your company’s mark in commerce, without registration, you are establishing your “common law” rights. However, registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will provide a number of advantages.

Those advantages include:

  • The legal presumption of your ownership of that mark nationwide, which is important if you plan to expand your business to other markets.
  • By registering, you will have far lower costs when trying to enforce your trademark rights.
  • Trademark registration also lets you qualify for various online sales programs.
  • Registration in a single country can be used as a stepping stone for registering your trademark in other countries as well.
  • Your organization receives priority over other organizations that want to get the same registered mark.

Copyrighting and trademarking your name or logo is certainly not required, but it can provide you with very useful benefits.

Why are trademark and copyright so important?

Once you create a website, you should register your business name and make your logo. At that time you can pursue copyright and trademark registration because that will protect your name and logo from infringement.

It’s important to secure the rights to your intellectual property and ensure that no other company steals your idea and logo design, which is the primary idea behind copyright and trademark.

Both copyrights and trademarks provide you with an excellent way to protect your original ideas from being used as the property of someone else. This is, without question, the most important benefit they offer you.

Trademarks never expire, so as long as you’re using your trademark in commerce to identify the source of your products or services, people will identify your business by it. It’s a valuable asset and a very effective communication tool that can instantly communicate the image of your company and the products or services you offer to customers.

Trademarks offer far more protection than copyrights, but copyrights are extremely important for the protection of logos.

Read on to explore in detail the difference between the two, so that you can better understand their importance and the impact they can have on your company.

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Trademarks vs. copyrights: what is the difference?

If you only copyright your name or logo without trademarking it, you cannot fully protect it against infringement. You’re only securing your rights to it since it is something you have created and it is your intellectual property. A trademark can protect your name and logo in case someone else wants to use them for their own purposes.

Also, you cannot really copyright a name, since copyright protects artistic works. This is exactly why you need to have a trademark that protects your company’s intellectual property, such as your logo. Below are the basic differences between copyrights and trademarks.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of them, that’s used to distinguish one manufacturer or seller from others operating in the same field of business and offering the same products or services.

(Video) Can you apply for the trademark for a logo and brand name in the same application? #trademark

This means that you can register a trademark for your business name, logo, slogan, symbol, design, and anything else that contributes to the brand identity of your company and the products or services that you offer.

Your trademark is used to notify others that your company’s products, name, and logo are your property. You have the exclusive right to use them in connection to your services or products.

However, a trademark does not encompass the colors and designs of logos, since it doesn’t protect against unlicensed copying. It only refers to similarities between the company’s mark and others that closely resemble it.

Therefore, it does not refer to the uses of the logo, but rather to confusion in the marketplace, thus limiting what uses of the logo could be found infringing. This means that if someone else is using a similar logo design, it cannot refer to trademark infringement, but rather copyright infringement.

Simply using your trademark does not protect you from someone else in the same industry using your name or design—but registering your trademark does. In the case of someone else using the same name or design as your company, you’ll have to prove that you came up with it first, which is not possible if you haven’t registered it.

Without registering your trademark, you have no legal defense in case of a lawsuit. A registered trademark is a federal and legal registration of your company’s mark. If anyone else wants to register a name or design that’s the same or too similar to yours, they will be guilty of trademark infringement.

Benefits of trademark registration:

  • USPTO registration gives you proof of legal trademark ownership as well as documentation.
  • National protection against similar marks.
  • Get the right to use the registered trademark symbol (®).
  • Protect your products from similarly branded goods that are imported.
  • Make it easier to brand your company internationally.
  • More advantages in court disputes.
  • Let’s you sue people in case of infringement.
  • You get statutory damages if someone counterfeits your products.
  • Prevents registration of similar marks.

Start Your Trademark Registration with LegalZoom

What is a copyright?

A copyright protects original works, such as books, songs, paintings, photography, movies, choreography, and other original works of authorship that are expressed in a physical form.

Companies can copyright their audio and video materials, their books and reports, as well as any other original material they have created, such as the design of their logo. It’s important to note that every original work is copyrighted at the moment of its creation. But registering it is what protects it from someone else trying to use it for their own purposes since you then have a document to prove your claim to it.

If anyone tries to steal your original creation, such as your logo, and use it as their own, you can sue them over the use of your property—but only if you have a copyright registration.

When you have a federally registered copyright, you can control exactly how your intellectual property is used, published, and distributed, as well as exactly how it is presented to the public.

Also, you can prevent anyone from using it for their own purposes. If someone tries to do so, you can sue them in a federal court because you have claimed your right to your intellectual property by copyrighting it.

Now, there is a trick when it comes to the copyright protection of your logo. Your logo must have the required level of creativity in order for it to be actually considered copyrightable and for your copyright application to be approved. Therefore, many very simple logos are not considered copyrightable, since copyright does not protect your logo design, colors, and name.

If your logo is a bit more artistic or ornate, you’ll find it easier to get your copyright registered.

Benefits of copyright registration:

  • Your copyright claim gets added to a public record.
  • If someone infringes on your copyrights, you can sue them in federal court.
  • You can use it to prove copyright ownership.
  • Become eligible for getting costs of suit, attorney fees, and statutory damages in a lawsuit.
  • Get help from the International Trade Commission.
  • Prevent infringing copies from entering the country.
  • It gives you the basis for recording documents in the Copyright Office.

How to copyright and trademark your assets for protection

There are certain steps you need to take in order to copyright and trademark your name and logo. Below is a brief outline of those steps.

The confusion about copyright and trademarking logos

Quite a lot of confusion arises when it comes to logos since many of them qualify for both copyright and trademark registration. Namely, if your logo qualifies for copyright as a piece of original artwork and is not used to identify your company, your logo can be copyright protected so that you can prevent unauthorized copying.

Additionally, if you want to prevent others from using your logo design and ensure that your company’s mark is distinguishable from your competitors, you should trademark your logo. A trademark can only prevent confusion your customers may experience if there’s a similar connection to your competitors, while copyright protects against unwanted copying.

Therefore, logos can be a confusing area of intellectual property law, since trademark and copyright protection often overlap. The important thing to note is that neither copyright nor trademark excludes one another, so many business owners opt for protecting their company’s logo by both copyrighting and trademarking it.

How to copyright a logo

Now that you’ve chosen your brand name and created a logo for the brand, you need to ensure that your assets are protected. Many people will infringe on the intellectual and creative property without even flinching.

(Video) Find unique brand name and register your Trademark without any objection

Regardless of the industry, you’re in or the size of your business, make sure to copyright your logo. However, bear in mind that copyright doesn’t protect your brand name, titles, or slogan.

How to apply for the copyright of your logo

  1. Go to the online registration website and fill out the form for copyright. If your business is located in the United States, go to the official website of the United States Copyright Office to e-file your copyright application.

    You can also submit your application in paper form. However, applying for your copyright registration online is not only more convenient for you, it is also faster. It will take up to eight months for an online application to be processed, while processing time for paper forms can be up to 13 months.

    Regardless of how you apply for your copyright registration, the date your registration becomes effective is the date the United States Copyright Office receives the submission of your application. So, if you want to publish your original work, you can do so without having to wait for your official certificate.

  2. When you arrive at the United States Copyright Office website, click on the eCO Online Registration button.

    This will lead you to a Form CO, which you need to fill out. The form will require your personal information, along with the name of the owner and creator, as well as the nature of the copyright documentation. For the copyright of a logo, you need to present a graphic representation of your logo.

  3. Next, you’ll need to upload your logo file and pay the registration fee of $65 with a credit or debit card, electronic check, or your deposit account with the United States Copyright Office.

    You will then receive a confirmation about your copyright registration, which will have a pending status for approval.

    As already mentioned, your copyright will be in effect as of the exact date you submit your application, not the date of approval.

Read more:

How to Copyright a Logo by Yourself in 13 Easy Steps: A Step by Step Guide

How to trademark a logo or a name

Before trademarking your name or logo, you need to conduct a trademark search to make sure that no one else is already using a similar one. You can do so with the help of a tool called Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which you can find on the official website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Conducting a trademark search through the TESS Database is of crucial importance because it can identify potential conflicts with an existing trademark of another company or a trademark for which approval is pending.

Read more:

How to Do a Free Trademark Search – Step by Step Guide

This step is also important because you’ll save money you would spend applying for a registration that may not be approved if it’s too similar to an existing trademark.

Once you have conducted your trademark search, you need to file a trademark application through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You’ll be presented with a form to fill out—after you decide which application is right for you.

You can choose one of three different application forms: TEAS Plus, TEAS Reduced, or TEAS Regular.

If you choose the “intent-to-use basis” (ITU) in your application, you will also need to pay an additional filing fee of $50 for at least one class of products or services.

After the submission of your registration, you’ll receive an email confirmation. Approximately three months after you submitted your application, it will be reviewed by an attorney who will determine whether or not your application meets all of the legal requirements necessary for trademark approval.

It is important to monitor your application’s progress every 3-4 months. You can do so through the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR).

(Video) If your logo contains your brand name, register the trademark for your brand name NOT your logo!

Hiring a third-party to trademark your name or logo

The trademarking process can get really complicated. It requires a lot of research, and even then, it’s likely that you’ll make several mistakes along the way. Luckily, there is an alternative approach.

If you don’t have the time or the patience to go through all of this, you can simply find a company that can handle the process from start to finish on your behalf.

Read more:

The Best Trademark Registration Services

It’s completely legal and transparent, and you aren’t obligated to pay until you actually get the trademarks you need.

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How the trademark approval process works

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will search through their trademark database to check for the availability of the mark you want to register only after you’ve already filed your application.

They will inform you of the results in due time. If they happen to find the same or a highly similar mark to the one you are trying to register for a trademark, they will refuse your registration and you will not receive a refund for your fees.

Regardless of what form of application you choose, you must include the following information:

  • A drawing of the trademark, in color (if applicable) exactly as the mark is used commercially.
  • The name, address, and email address of the trademark owner.
  • The filing fee.
  • The product or company the trademark identifies, with proof that your company’s trademark is used in commerce.
  • The owner’s signature.

If the examining attorney determines that your application meets the legal requirements for approval, he or she will approve your mark for publication in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s weekly magazine, the “Official Gazette.”

During the 30 days following publication, anyone who thinks they may have been damaged by the registration of your mark can file an opposition to the registration or a request for the extension of opposition time.

If such a case arises, the opposition will be held before an administrative tribunal within the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). If the opposition does not yield any results for the party that filed it, or if no opposition is filed whatsoever, your trademark registration will be approved and you will receive a certificate of registration by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Maintaining your registration is of crucial importance because you need to let the United States Patent and Trademark Office know that your trademark is in use.

After your trademark registration is approved, you’ll need to file specific maintenance documents. Failing to do so will result in your trademark’s cancellation or expiration.

Also, the registration of your trademark lasts 10 years, but it’s mandatory that you verify it between the fifth and sixth year of its registration and between the ninth and tenth year of registration, to confirm that it is still being used.

Enforcing your trademark and copyright rights

Once you have your trademark and copyright registered, you are responsible for enforcing your trademark and copyright rights to make sure that you protect your name or logo against unauthorized adoption or copying by anyone else.

Although the United States Patent and Trademark Office will ensure that no one registers the same or seemingly identical mark as yours, you are the one responsible for protecting the rights to your company’s intellectual property if anyone tries to use it.

You have two legal options when taking legal action to protect your trademark against infringement. You can either send a cease and desist letter or opt for a trademark infringement lawsuit.

There are companies that can help you establish a “trademark watch” to ensure that no other party tries to use your company’s mark. You can also hire an attorney to watch for a trademark infringement so that you can be advised and counseled on how to proceed properly to obtain the protection you need.

(Video) How to Trademark a Name and Logo | Trademark Registration Process & Intellectual Property Rights

Speaking of hiring an attorney, many people decide to hire one to help them with the entire copyright and trademark process. However, not only is it not required to have one, but it is also not necessary since you can do absolutely everything on your own.

Although an examining attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office will certainly help you out through the process of filing your trademark application, hiring your own trademark attorney can provide you with benefits if the need for legal advice arises.

If you decide to hire a private trademark attorney before you apply for your application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will communicate only with your attorney throughout the entire registration process.

Furthermore, a private trademark attorney can advise you on how to enforce your trademark rights in case of trademark infringement and what to do if someone claims you are infringing on their company’s mark.

Famous cases of copyright and trademark infringement

If you think that trademarking or copyrighting your company’s mark (your company’s name and logo) is not important, take a look at some famous cases of copyright and trademark infringement.

You’ll see the importance of having a federal trademark and copyright registration, and the impact that it can have on your company.

Nestle vs. Cadbury

Nestle registered the Kitkat 4-bar shape in the UK in 2006. Cadbury, who sells a KitKat-like bar product, attempted to invalidate the registered trademark. Nestle won on the grounds that the Kitkat 4-bar shape had been used by Nestle for so long that consumers associate the shape with the brand.

Gucci vs. Guess

Gucci sued Guess over a diamond-patterned G logo found on clothing made by both brands. Gucci won the case in 2012 when courts in New York ordered Guess to pay $4.7 million. In 2013, Guess won their counterclaim in Italy where the court granted Guess’s requests to have three of Gucci’s registered trademarks nullified, including the diamond-pattern, G logo, and a floral pattern.

BeautyBank vs. Ageless Fantasy

BeautyBank, a subsidiary of Estee Lauder, filed and won a trademark infringement lawsuit on the grounds that Ageless Fantasy’s EAU FLIRT-branded perfume advertising was in bad faith. Ageless Fantasy’s perfume claimed that it was clinically proven to make men flirt with women, which competed against the BeautyBank FLIRT line of cosmetics.

Apple Corps vs Apple Inc.

The Beatles came up with the trademark for the word “apple” eight years before Steve Jobs introduced his Apple Inc. to the world. The Beatles sued Apple Inc. and the battle in court spanned a number of years.

Ultimately, Apple Inc. paid The Beatles’ music company, “Apple Corps”, a cash settlement and agreed to stay out of the music business. However, with the introduction of iTunes, the battle started all over again. A settlement was reached after Apple Inc. agreed to buy the Apple Corps’ trademark rights and then license them back to the company, resulting in The Beatles losing the Apple battle.

Jack Daniel’s vs Patrick Wensink

This case actually played out well, without the hassle of a lawsuit. Patrick Wensink published a book, the cover of which was a dead ringer for Jack Daniel’s well-known trademark design. The famous company sent a cease and desist letter to Wensink, which might be the nicest cease and desist letter ever. Jack Daniel’s proposed to Wensink that he might consider changing his cover and, as a sign of gratitude and goodwill, the company would even contribute financially toward designing the new cover. What’s more, Jack Daniel’s didn’t even ask for the book to be taken off the shelf.

Patrick Wensink publicized the letter on his website, after which it went viral and won Jack Daniel’s an incredible amount of positive publicity. As you can see, a case of trademark infringement can be solved without having to go to court. You simply let your marketing department handle it all.

Marvin Gaye vs Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke

One of the recent cases of copyright infringement took place in March 2015, when a jury found that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s famous song “Blurred Lines” was a copy of Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.” The lawsuit resulted in Williams and Thicke paying Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million.

When you have a registered copyright, you can protect your company against unauthorized copying of your intellectual property.

(Video) How To Register a UK Trademark For Your Brand Name | Step-By-Step Tutorial


Although both copyright and trademark can protect your intellectual property, they offer different kinds of protection, as they protect different types of assets. A copyright protects literary and artistic works, while a trademark is more focused on protecting items that define and identify a company’s brand, such as a logo.

Your company’s assets don’t represent only your money. They also include intellectual property that can boost your company’s worth, so you must protect your rights to that property to ensure that a third party doesn’t use them without permission.

Copyright and trademark provide you with that kind of protection, so it is imperative that you register for both and make sure that you protect your brand.


How to Trademark & Copyright Your Brand's Name (or Logo) in 2023? ›

To register and trademark your brand name, search the TESS database for similar brand names, fill out the trademark application and submit it to the USPTO for review.

How do I copyright my brand name and logo? ›

You will need to register it as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The name that you select for your company must be distinctive to receive trademark protection. Common words or phrases that are not inherently distinctive are not offered trademark protection.

How much does it cost to copyright a logo and name? ›

What Does it Cost to Trademark a Logo? The cost to trademark a logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $275–$660 as of June 2020, plus legal fees. You can register a trademark with your state for $50-$150, but federal registration offers a great deal more legal protection.

How can I copyright my name and logo for free? ›

There is no way to register a name trademark for free because you will always have to pay at least a small fee that covers the costs of examining and processing your trademark application. There is no way to get a federal trademark for free.

Should I trademark or copyright my brand name? ›

It is your choice whether to protect your brand under trademark law. Many business owners choose to protect their brand names for their main or dominant goods or services. You might also choose to protect a slogan or logo for those goods or services, if you have one.

How much does it cost to copyright your own brand? ›

Filing cost of a trademark application online

The USPTO prefers that applicants file electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). The fees for electronically filed trademark applications generally range from $250 to $350 for each class of goods or services.

Can I trademark my logo myself? ›

Can I trademark a logo myself? Yes. Anyone can apply online to trademark a logo.

How long does trademark last? ›

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set period of time. Trademarks will persist so long as the owner continues to use the trademark. Once the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants a registered trademark, the owner must continue to use the trademark in ordinary commerce.

How long does it take to trademark a logo? ›

Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months. Registering your trademark is a complex procedure that involves your application moving through various stages. Learning about each stage in the process will help you understand why getting a trademark takes as long as it does.

What is the difference between a logo and a trademark? ›

What is Trademark vs. Logo? A trademark protects a slogan, phrase, word, company name, logo, or design that identifies a company and/or its goods. A logo is a symbol or design used by a company that may fall under trademark protection laws.

What is the difference between a brand and a trademark? ›

What's the Difference Between a Trademark and a Brand? A trademark protects a form of intellectual property, while a brand is the overall impression of your business. Many people use a trademark to brand a portion of their business, such as their business name, slogan, or logo.

What is the difference between copyright and trademark? ›

Copyrights primarily protect the rights of people who create literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other original works (like history tests, and software code). Trademarks can protect the use of a company's name and its product names, brand identity (like logos), and slogans.

Should I trademark my LLC name? ›

An LLC alone won't protect your brand name or logo. For that, you'll need to register a trademark. Conversely, it is also essential to protect your personal assets. A trademark alone can't protect your assets from legal liability.

Should I copyright or trademark first? ›

Generally, if you're using your logo in relation to your business and you're selling goods or services utilizing the logo, filing a trademark application should be at the top of your priority list.

Do I need both trademark and copyright? ›

Depending on what asset you are trying to protect, you might need a copyright, a trademark, both, or even some other type of intellectual property protection. There can be a significant overlap between trademarks and copyrights. It's better to have more protection than necessary than not enough.

What is the cheapest way to copyright a logo? ›

The cheapest way to file for a trademark is simply to do it yourself. You can start by searching for the United States Patent and Trademark Office's State (USPTO) website. Then file out the online forms and pay their fees.

Do I need to copyright my small business logo? ›

Now that you've chosen your brand name and created a logo for the brand, you need to ensure that your assets are protected. Many people will infringe on the intellectual and creative property without even flinching. Regardless of the industry, you're in or the size of your business, make sure to copyright your logo.

Is it worth registering a copyright? ›

Creates a Public Record: It puts others on notice that your work is protected by copyright and that you are the copyright owner. Registration provides notice to the world of your copyright claim. Among other things, this helps people who wish to license your work to ascertain the status of your work and to find you.

Where is the best place to trademark a logo? ›

The simplest and fastest way to submit an application for a trademark is online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website. If you're registering your company name, it should take about 90 minutes online. A designed logo could be a more complicated process since the logo has more details.

How do I know if my logo is taken? ›

You may conduct a free online search of the USPTO database at the Public Search Facility (Madison East, 1st Floor; 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia) between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. USPTO personnel may not conduct trademark searches for the public. Private trademark search firms will conduct searches for a fee.

Can I put a logo on a shirt and sell it? ›

In short, if a design is copyrighted, you shouldn't start selling it or something similar in your shop. Only the owner of that exclusive design has the authorization to monetize it.

How soon should I trademark my business? ›

In most cases, the best time to file a trademark application for your business name is right after you've filed paperwork to form your LLC or corporation. By doing this before your business officially launches, it protects the name for commercial use once you're up and running.

What happens after you get a trademark? ›

After your trademark is approved for publication, your trademark is published in our weekly online Trademark Official Gazette. Your trademark hasn't yet registered. Publication begins a 30-day period during which any member of the public who thinks they'll be harmed by the registration of your trademark may oppose it.

What is an example of a trademark? ›

The McDonald's golden arches design is an example of a registered trademark in special form format. The company Nike registered this trademark in special form format, combining the stylized word Nike with their swoosh logo. The format of the trademark you apply to register affects your application filing requirements.

What happens if I don't trademark my logo? ›

If you do not register your trademark, you will have legal rights only within the geographic areas where you operate. This means you may be able to stop a subsequent user of the mark, even if it is a bigger company, from using the mark in your geographic area only.

How do I register my logo? ›

You can register a logo with the USPTO by using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or other online trademark service. If your logo includes design elements, you will need to upload an image, using a . jpg file, of the logo as part of your trademark application.

How do I register my logo as a trademark? ›

How to trademark a logo
  1. Ensure your logo is available. Before taking any other steps in the process, you must show that the logo you've developed is actually available. ...
  2. Obtain ownership of your logo. ...
  3. Secure the trademark. ...
  4. Monitor your trademarked logo's use.

Can someone steal my logo if it's not trademarked? ›

Logos don't even need to be registered as trademarks to be protected under current law. This means that using someone else's logo without permission, even if it's unregistered, is against the law.

How do I protect my logo? ›

The best way to safeguard your logo? Trademark it. Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds, and colors and distinguish one company's goods and products from another.

Who owns the rights to a logo? ›

LEGALLY, the original creator of any piece of art, which includes logos, owns all copyrights to the art. The client owns the logo, ONLY after the artist signs over all rights to the logo to them.

Do I need a trademark for my logo and my name? ›

This is important: this means that the federal protection you acquire from the USPTO only applies to the mark as it's been registered. So, if you file your name and your logo together, you must actually use them together at all times to maintain your legal protection under federal law.

Should I trademark my logo with color? ›

Submitting your design mark in black and white allows you to use any combination of colors for your logo or other image with full trademark coverage. Claiming a color or combination of colors, on the other hand, limits your coverage against infringement to that specific color or combination.

What are the 3 types of brands? ›

The Three Types of Branding
  • A corporation or company brand.
  • A product brand.
  • A personal brand.

Should I trademark my brand before selling? ›

If you are going to provide services or products only within that state, there is no reason to register for a trademark. If you are offering products and services in multiple states and want federal protection for the name of your business, though, you would need to register for a trademark.

What are the four types of brands? ›

What Are 4 Types of Brands? There are numerous types of brands, but the four most common ones include corporate brands, personal brands, product brands, and service brands.

How do I copyright my name? ›

How do I copyright a name, title, slogan, or logo? Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, or see Circular 33, for further information.

Which is more powerful trademark or copyright? ›

Although a trademark protects items such as words, logos, design elements, and even certain phrases or slogans that might define your business's brand, copyright protects more elaborate creations you or your business may produce.

What is the most common reason that a trademark might be rejected? ›

The most common are: Likelihood of Confusion: The USPTO conducts a search for conflicting marks as part of the official examination of an application only after a trademark application is filed.

Does your logo have to match your business name? ›

No, your logo (or brand) does not have to match your LLC name. Your logo (or business name) is the brand you use to market to your clients, whereas your LLC name is the legal entity name of your firm. They can match, but they do not need to match.

What happens if someone trademark your business name? ›

If the other business has a trademark, the current owner can infringe upon this legal protection by using the same company name. Then, he or she will need to change the name to avoid a possibly detrimental lawsuit based on the trademark already in use.

What is the first use rule in trademark? ›

In a trademark or service mark application, the date of first use anywhere is the date when the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered, under the mark, if such use is bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.

Who gets a trademark first? ›

There are exceptions, but the general rule is that rights belong to the one who was first to use a trademark, not the first to file.

How much does it cost to trademark a name and logo? ›

The cost to trademark a logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $275–$660 as of June 2020, plus legal fees. You can register a trademark with your state for $50-$150, but federal registration offers a great deal more legal protection.

What can and Cannot be trademarked? ›

Almost anything that identifies and distinguishes a business's products or services can be trademarked, including a word, name, phrase, symbol, design, sound, character, color, or color scheme, so long as it is used as a brand. Every element of your brand can be a trademark. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Should I copyright my business name and logo? ›

Since trademarks are used to identify a company or brand, it makes the most sense to file for trademark protection on the brand name, logo or image. By doing this, you can keep other people from using your logo, or one that is confusingly similar, to sell the same or similar things that you are selling.

Can I copyright my brand name? ›

Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, or see Circular 33, for further information.

Do I need to copyright my business logo? ›

Now that you've chosen your brand name and created a logo for the brand, you need to ensure that your assets are protected. Many people will infringe on the intellectual and creative property without even flinching. Regardless of the industry, you're in or the size of your business, make sure to copyright your logo.

How do I legally protect my logo? ›

The best way to safeguard your logo? Trademark it. Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds, and colors and distinguish one company's goods and products from another.

How long do trademarks last? ›

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set period of time. Trademarks will persist so long as the owner continues to use the trademark. Once the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants a registered trademark, the owner must continue to use the trademark in ordinary commerce.

When should I trademark my logo? ›

The best strategy is to think about trademarks from the very beginning—ideally, when you're choosing your business name and logo and forming your business entity. Your business name can form the core of your brand, and it can also create serious trademark issues.

Do you have to legalize a logo? ›

In the U.S., you don't need to register a trademark or copyright your company's logo. Once you put down the original work on paper or digital media and use it to market your business, you automatically own the rights. However, registering a trademark affords you an extra layer of protection.


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