A logo created by an individual or company, that is unique and original, can be considered a trademark. Usually a logo will be a type of design that is used to brand a particular product, service, or company in the marketplace. The logo of a company can be essential to developing their brand identity across international markets and increasing their consumer loyalty, which is why obtaining trademark rights over your logo, is advised. If you wish to seek exclusive ownership rights for your logo, it is suggested that you consult with a professional consultancy firm to guide you throughout the registration process.
Explanation of how to trademark a logo
As mentioned, a logo is usually a design, which can be solitary, or include letters, words, stylized characters, or numbers. Provided the logo is capable of graphical representation, is unique, and distinguishable from competitor logos, it can be considered a trademark for registration purposes.
Usually a company will have their logo printed on paperwork, letterheads, goods and their website as a form of brand identity. And with the cases of ‘passing off’ common place in commercial markets, it is advised that companies who depend upon their logo to sell goods and services, should register their logo with the appropriate intellectual property office.
There are several important steps to follow in order to trademark a logo:
- Perform a trademark search prior to filing an application to trademark a logo. Conducting a search will help you establish if the logo is available to register, or if it is too similar to other logos already registered.
- Once the search is conducted and the logo is considered available to register, the next step is filing an application to register the logo with the appropriate National, EU or International IP registries.
- Approval of your application to trademark your logo will give you exclusive rights to of ownership over your new trademark.
- In order to protect your logo rights you can set up a trademark watch through a licensed attorney or other professional consultancy firm. This specific service will alert you when a third party begins using your logo or a similar logo. This will then provide you with the right to take legal action and seek appropriate remedies.
Through seeking your trademark rights, you can successfully ensure the logo enjoys heightened legal protection in cases of infringement. As the owner of the logo, you also have the right to lease or sell the rights of your logo to third parties.
It should be noted that international protection for your logo can be sought from WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization, or alternatively, for registration rights in all 27 EU member states, owners can apply to OHIM. Nevertheless, logo owners must register their mark with the intellectual property office in their country of domicile first.
View our Trademark Services page to see how Starting Business can assist you.