How to Trademark a Logo

Have you ever wondered how businesses safeguard their unique logos from being copied or misused? Trademarking a logo is the answer, providing legal protection and brand identity. But how do you go about trademarking your logo? In this blog post, we will guide you through the entire process of “how to trademark a logo”, from creating a distinctive logo design to registering and enforcing your trademark rights.

Short Summary

  • Understanding the importance of trademarking your logo to gain legal protection and create a strong brand identity.
  • Conducting a comprehensive trademark search and registering your logo with USPTO, as well as filing maintenance documents for continued protection.
  • Knowing strategies for enforcing rights, navigating disputes, and protecting trademarks internationally.

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Trademarking a logo is vital for businesses of all sizes to secure legal protection and establish a strong brand identity. A trademarked logo grants the trademark owner exclusive rights to use the logo, preventing others from using a similar design. This protection extends to both registered and unregistered trademarks. However, a federal trademark registration offers stronger protection and is easier to enforce than common law trademarks.

By registering your company logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or a relevant national trademark office, you create a legal barrier that deters potential infringers and protects your intellectual property. Additionally, a trademarked logo can enhance your company’s identity and reputation, as it signals professionalism and commitment to quality.

But before diving into the registration process, it’s crucial to design a unique logo that is eligible for trademark protection.

Creating a Distinctive Logo Design

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A successful logo design hinges on a well-conceived idea and proficient implementation. To avoid trademark infringement claims and ensure your logo is eligible for trademark protection, it’s essential to verify existing trademarks before finalizing your design. This involves searching the USPTO’s database, as well as other databases, to guarantee your logo doesn’t conflict with any existing trademarked logos.

Unique and distinctive logos are more likely to be granted trademark protection, so avoid generic or offensive elements in your logo design. Once you have a logo that aligns with your brand and meets the eligibility requirements, the next step is to conduct a comprehensive trademark search.

Performing a thorough trademark search is crucial to ensure your logo doesn’t resemble any existing trademarks, saving you time, effort, and money. Start by consulting the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and expand your search to include the databases of other countries if needed. It’s also prudent to examine logos that other trademark owners have already registered for potential similarities.

While you can conduct a trademark search yourself, hiring a trademark attorney or professional researcher is highly recommended. These experts can identify potential conflicts and assess the originality of your logo more accurately, increasing the likelihood of a successful trademark application.

Registering Your Logo Trademark

With a unique logo and a comprehensive trademark search completed, it’s time to register your logo trademark. This process involves preparing and filing your trademark application, responding to any office actions or objections, and ultimately obtaining approval.

Let’s dive into these steps in more detail.

Preparing Your Trademark Application

Before filing your trademark application, gather the necessary information, including your logo design, a description of the logo, and its intended use in commerce. You can file a standard Trademark Application with the USPTO, indicating your “intent to use” the logo in commerce, which helps protect against trademark infringement.

After your application is submitted and approved, the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance. You’ll be given six months to use your trademark and submit the Statement of Use form. If you need more time, you can purchase an extension. This form is vital for protecting your logo and maintaining your trademark rights.

Filing Your Trademark Application

To file your trademark application, use the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) online or the relevant national trademark office. The filing fee for a trademark application starts at $350. Keep in mind that the application process can be complex, and hiring a trademark attorney or specialized service to assist you can be beneficial.

Upon submitting your application, the USPTO or the relevant national office will review it. If approved, your trademark will be published in the authoritative database, granting you legal protection and exclusive rights to use your logo.

Responding to Office Actions

During the review process, you may receive office actions from the trademark examiner. These are official communications that outline any legal issues with your application and give you an opportunity to address them. To increase the likelihood of approval, provide a comprehensive explanation of why your trademark should be granted, along with any supporting evidence that demonstrates its distinctiveness and lack of confusion with other trademarks.

Addressing all the objections raised in the office action is crucial for the successful registration of your logo trademark. These objections may include your logo being too similar to existing trademarks, not being distinctive enough, or not being used in commerce.

Common Law Trademarks vs. Federal Registration

It’s essential to understand the differences between common law trademarks and federal registration. A common law trademark is established through use and offers limited protection, making it more challenging to enforce. Federal registration, on the other hand, provides stronger protection and is easier to enforce, granting you exclusive rights to use your logo.

While common law trademarks are simpler to acquire and more cost-effective, they don’t offer the same level of protection as federally registered trademarks. Weighing the pros and cons of each option will help you make the best decision for your business and its future growth.

Enforcing Your Trademark Rights

Once your logo is trademarked, it’s crucial to enforce your trademark rights. This involves monitoring for potential infringements and taking legal action when necessary to protect your brand. Implementing a trademark watch service can help you identify unauthorized use and potential logo trademark infringements.

In the event of infringement, you may be able to sue the unauthorized user or bring criminal charges. Additionally, a registered logo trademark enables you to prevent or impede the import of foreign goods with a similar logo that may violate your trademark.

International Trademark Protection

If you plan to expand your business internationally, it’s crucial to consider international trademark protection. This can be achieved through the Madrid Protocol or by registering your trademark in each country where you plan to do business. International trademark protection offers several benefits, such as enhanced brand recognition, defense against infringement, and the ability to enforce your trademark rights in multiple countries.

Each country has its own registration process, which typically involves filing an application with the relevant trademark office, paying the applicable fees, and awaiting approval. Be prepared to navigate the complexities of international trademark registration to safeguard your brand on a global scale.

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Trademark disputes can arise when one entity believes another is violating their trademark rights. Resolving such disputes may involve employing strategies like mediation, arbitration, or direct negotiation. It’s crucial to be aware of the legal ramifications of each strategy before engaging in negotiations.

If a dispute escalates, you may need to participate in opposition proceedings or even pursue legal action. Exhaust all other options before pursuing legal action and ensure you understand the legal repercussions before proceeding.

Maintaining Your Trademark

To maintain your trademark rights, it’s important to file required registration maintenance documents and pay the necessary fees, which amount to $525 per class of goods or services. Trademarks must be renewed every 10 years to keep them active.

Continuously using your logo in commerce is also crucial for maintaining your trademark rights. Failure to do so can result in the cancellation or abandonment of your trademark. Be vigilant in monitoring for potential logo trademark infringement and take appropriate action to protect your brand.


Trademarking your logo is an essential step in protecting your brand identity and preventing infringement. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped to create a distinctive logo, conduct a comprehensive trademark search, and navigate the registration process. Enforcing and maintaining your trademark rights and considering international protection will ensure your brand remains strong and secure in an ever-changing business landscape. Remember, protecting your logo is protecting your business’s future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to copyright or trademark a logo?

It is better to trademark a logo since it helps prevent the logo from being used by a competitor business, as well as protect words, logos, design elements, phrases and slogans defining a brand.

Copyright protection applies more to elaborate creations.

Is it free to trademark a logo?

Trademarking a logo is essential for protecting your brand, however it does come with a non-refundable fee.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires a filing fee of $250 or $350 per class of goods or services in order to register a trademark.

What are the benefits of trademarking a logo?

Trademarking a logo provides legal protection, exclusive rights to use the logo and strengthens the brand identity, giving businesses an edge in the competitive market.

It is an important step for businesses to take in order to protect their brand and ensure that their logo is not used without their permission. This can help to give businesses an advantage in the competitive market.

What is involved in the trademark registration process?

The trademark registration process involves preparing and filing the application, responding to office actions or objections, and ultimately receiving approval.

What is the difference between common law trademarks and federal registration?

Common law trademarks are established through use and offer limited protection, whereas federal registration provides stronger protection and is easier to enforce.

Federal registration provides stronger protection and is easier to enforce than common law trademarks. It is also easier to enforce, as it is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This registration provides a legal basis for the registration.