Logos are often more recognizable that a company name or byline. Therefore, registering the logo as a trademark is a very important step towards building and protecting one’s brand. A logo registration is akin to announcing ownership of the symbol and included text, after which it cannot be contested or usurped by another. No action can be brought against any logo infringement unless the registration formalities are complete.
Filing your registration with the U.S. Customs Service prevents the import of goods that infringe upon your trademarked logo. Given that there are so many advantages to registering your logo, follow these easy steps:
1. Step 1 is Design Search or a logo search to see if your logo design is original or not. Before trying to register your logo, investigate if anybody else has already registered it by consulting the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), or delegating the task to professional trademark attorneys. In case it is not original, you will need to go back to the drawing board and save yourself the effort and cost of filing an application that would have been rejected. Even if another has filed an application for the same design before you, your application will be rejected.
2. In case the design search comes back favorable — i.e., the logo has not been registered or filed by anybody else, you must file your claim for trademark status with the USPTO. You will be required to give a succinct description of the entire list of products or services that will be represented by the chosen logo. Highlight the mission, objectives and benefits of the company in the application as well. Most importantly, provide a clear and legible sample drawing, picture or illustration of the logo as it will finally appear.
3. There will be a processing or application fee near $335, which is well worth the benefits that will accrue on account of having protected your brand identity. This fee is nonrefundable in case the application is rejected for any reason.
4. Once the logo has been approved for trademarking, the owner can use the symbol to indicate the same. Now is a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure that all loose ends are tied and there is no scope for trademark infringement later. The law has many loopholes and it is important to make sure that your case is airtight.
Once you have filed for a trademark registration in one country, it does not automatically entitle you to the same privileges in others. Depending on your plans, you will need to file the logo trademark application in relevant countries.
Remember that sometimes the value of a logo can be more than the combined asset value of a company. Not registering the logo can lead to losses — not just in monetary terms, but in customer loyalty and trust.