HOW TO TRADEMARK A LOGO: Best US practices, Requirements & What you should know

How to trademark a logo

Knowing how to trademark your logo will be of great benefit to you. Learn how to trademark a logo in Texas, California, Ohio, in Michigan and how to trademark a logo and business name.

Let’s see the meaning of the trademark logo. 

A trademarked logo is a company logo that has been registered as a trademark and is protected by trademark laws. Moreover, Protecting your rights by trademarking your company’s logo is a must for your company’s sake. 

Hence, creating a logo is an excellent method to create the identity of your firm. If you’ve created one, you should trademark it to safeguard your rights. It’s vital to get it right, and it’s not easy. You either need to employ an attorney or deal with a specialized service to manage the process for you. You can also expect the trademarking process to take at least six months to complete.

Here are ways on how to trademark a logo

#1. Confirm to see if your logo is available

Before proceeding with the procedure, you must demonstrate that the logo you created is genuinely available.

Moreover, to be registrable, your design must be unique, not generic, or overly similar to existing logos.

Then, to begin the trademark search procedure by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) logo trademark database for comparable logos and trademarks already registered by other companies.

There are various ways to get legal rights to the logo that your firm has chosen, but not all of them are made equal. So, the simplest way to gain rights is to just begin utilizing your brand.

it is the cheapest choice, but it’s also the riskiest because you’ll only hold the rights in the geographic area where you’re using your logo. Meaning that anyone can use it elsewhere, and you will have no control over it.

Furthermore, you can also register your logo as a trademark with the Secretary of State in the state where you want to use it. This protects your rights solely inside that state, allowing people in other states to use the mark.

The third most expensive alternative is to apply for a trademark with the USPTO. Again, you will need the assistance of an attorney or specialized firm to create the application because it must precisely define the mark in words used by the USPTO.

Once submitted, a registered trademark application takes many months to be processed.

#3. Protect the Trademark

Once registration is in place with the USPTO, you will have the exclusive right to use it throughout the United States. By registering the logo, you gain the ability to litigate in order to enforce your ownership.

By registering your trademark, you also gain the ability to prevent foreign items bearing your logo from importing it from another nation (which is a concern if there are counterfeit versions of your product).

Registering your logo with the USPTO and with trademark registration, you can register it in other countries to protect your rights there as well.

Your organization will need to conduct a trademark watch to safeguard your logo and ensure that no one else is using it. This type of continual, extensive labor is handled by professional attorneys and firms. So, they are continuously checking to ensure that no one else is using your logo or attempting to trademark logos that are too similar to yours, and if they are, they send a cease and desist letter.

A logo must be trademarked in order for a company to be successful. However, it is a technical process for which almost everyone requires legal advice. Take the required precautions to safeguard your company’s logo right away.

How to trademark a logo in Texas

Below are State of Texas Registration Requirements on how to Trademark a logo

The following are the criteria for registering a trademark logo in Texas, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office:

  • You must show that you used the trademark logo in relation with your company’s goods or products in Texas prior to the filing date.
  • The logo must be distinct from other register trademarks in the state.
  • The mark must be distinct from any other trademarks file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Steps on how to  Trademark a logo in Texas

First of all, a  Trademark or Service Mark Application Form must be completed, which contains data such as a federal trademark application. However, this form must be signed before it can be submitted.

Then, Submit three original pieces of evidence that your trademark is being used in Texas.

Secondly, Pay the application fee for each class you want. In Texas, each lesson is present at $50, which is much less than the $325 amount necessary in a federal application for each session.

Then following the submission of the application, the state will assess your request, including a search for any conflicting registered trademarks within the state and the USPTO.

If there are any concerns, the state examiner will contact you and give you 90 days to revise the application or submit arguments.

Thirdly, the state will issue your trademark registration once the application has been examined and any difficulties have been resolved.

Finally, Once you register your company’s trademark logo, it is valid in Texas for five years, following which you can renew the registration for another five years.

How to trademark a logo in California 

A California trademark protects a trademark logo within the state of California. This could be beneficial to your company. Many individuals are aware that they can register their trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but fewer are aware that California has a trademark registry.

Things you should know on how to trademark a logo in California

A trademark in California is less expensive than a federal trademark. Meanwhile, a California trademark costs $70 to file, and a national registration costs around $300.

In California on how to trademark a logo, safeguards your brand in the state of California. It does not, however, provide you with national protection.

Moreover, a California trademark falls into the same categories as a federal trademark. When you register a trademark, you are registering it for a certain class of products or services. Furthermore, the classifications used in California are the same as those used by the USPTO. So, If you’ve already decided which category your product or service is in for federal registration, you might be allowed to utilize the same one in California.

In some situations, a California trademark logo is your sole alternative for trademark protection. Particularly if the things you want to brand are prohibited by federal legislation (for example, federal law bars most marijuana-related trademarks). You should still do a search on how to trademark a logo before submitting it in California (or any other state). Seeing that California frequently applies the same probability of confusion standards as the USPTO, which means that your registration could be rejected if you are not diligent.

Lastly, In California, “intent to use” trademark applications are not permitted. You must use your trademark while submitting your application for registration.

How to trademark a logo and business name

Businesses must safeguard their intellectual property, which includes their company name and logo. These products set the company apart from the competitors by creating brand recognition and a devoted consumer base. Moreover,  Customers will eventually link your logo with your firm, much as Nike has with its swoosh. Generally, you should file separate trademark applications for your company name and logo.

#1. Maintain Separation

By keeping your logo and business name separate, you can use either property independently. Meanwhile, trademark protection only applies to trademark registrations filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For you to enjoy legal protection under federal law, you must use your business name and logo together at all times. Even if you register a federal trademark for both. Many situations, such as advertising or marketing initiatives, demand the usage of one or both elements. To ease your business activities, keep them distinct.

Only in exceptional circumstances would you wish to change the name of your organization. However, you may choose to rebrand your logo in order to associate your name with new products. Registering your name and logo together would necessitate a fresh registration for your business name if your logo was changed. Additionally, duplicate registration could cause issues during the trademark registration process. Thereby causing your rebranding effort to delay.

#3. Expenses

The only real benefit of registering your name and logo together is a lesser cost. Each trademark registration typically costs around $300. So,  You can save up to $600 by registering both elements individually. Besides, registering the items together saves you money in the process. When you rebrand your items or alter the name of your company, you end up paying more in the long run. Better to Spend extra money now so you don’t have to regret it later.

#4. Considerations

Registering both pieces at the same time puts your intellectual property at risk. Because both assets are registered together for federal protection. Your competitors may profit from using your business name or emblem separately. You do not acquire legal protection for the things unless they appear on your trademark registration, which eliminates your ability to sue the competition for damages. If you do not properly register your intellectual property with the USPTO, you cannot sue infringers in federal court.

Information on how to trademark a logo in Ohio

Information about Ohio service marks

A service mark is define as “any word, name, symbol, device, or combination of any word, name, symbol, device. That is in adoption and use by a person to identify and distinguish the services of that person. Including a unique service, from the services of other persons and to indicate the source of the services, even if that source is unknown” under Ohio Revise Code Section 1329.54(B).

Obtaining a trademark logo in ohio

One of the primary advantages of registering your trademark or service mark is that it can be used as proof in the event of a violation claim.

When you register a trademark logo or service mark in Ohio, the registration serves as a public announcement, and the mark is open to public inspection. This is advantageous for both the holder of the mark and future registrants who want to avoid utilizing a mark that is already in use.

Registration application form to trademark a logo in Ohio

To register a trademark or service mark in Ohio, complete Form 555 and submit it to the Secretary of State’s Office.

However, the form includes instructions on how to complete it.

When you submit the form, you must include a specimen of the mark you want to register.  The trademark logo must be in use, such as on letterhead or business cards. It is critical to note that the mark must be in use before it can be registered.

Online document submission to trademark a logo in Ohio

The filing forms can be completed online at bsportal.sos.state.oh.us.

The filing fee can be paid using any major credit card.

Using a printed form and mailing it

You can download the form and print it at the Secretary of State’s website, OhioSecretaryofState.gov.

The paper form can also be obtained by calling (877) SOS-FILE (877-767-3453). Similarly,  Fill out the form and mail it to the address on the form, along with the filing fee payment in the form of a check, money order, or credit card authorization.

submission on trademark a logo in Ohio in person

To file the form personally, go to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Client Service Center, which is located at 180 E. Broad St., Suite 103 (Ground Floor), Columbus, Ohio 43215. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Friday.

How to trademark a logo in Michigan

Your trademark logo in Michigan identifies your products in the market from those of your competitors. You can obtain trademark logo rights in Michigan for your brand name through three methods: common law usage, state registration, and federal registration. Under common law, you automatically acquire a fundamental trademark logo in Michigan rights. When you employ your distinctive brand name in connection with commercially traded goods. In Michigan, you must register your trademark logo with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Furthermore,  The registration establishes your rights to the trademark logo in Michigan or in the state. Optional federal trademark registration with the United States Patent & Trademark Office grants exclusive rights to use the trademark logo.

Conclusion

How to trademarks logo shows you the benefits in it and one of the benefits is ownership of your trademarked logo and awareness it creates. 

How to trademark a logo FAQ’s

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.

Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds, and colors and distinguish one company’s goods and products from another. Trademarking a logo not only protects it from being used by other similar companies, it also protects a company from unknowingly infringing upon an existing logo.

How long does trademark last?

In the United States, a federal trademark can potentially last forever, but it has to be renewed every ten years. If the mark is still being used between the 5th and the 6th year after it was registered, then the registration can be renewed.

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