With hundreds and thousands of knockoff brands present in the market today, it is essential to be unique in order to succeed. But unique ideas tend to get stolen or plagiarized quite often. How to avoid this from happening to your brand? Well, guarding your intellectual property against any sort of theft online or offline is done by logo trademarking. It helps in securing your hard work and ideas so that no one can use them for their own benefit.
Before uncovering how logo trademark works, let us discuss what “trademark” is.
A trademark protects any type of intellectual property i.e. unique symbol, word, sound, number, image or scent which is used to represent a brand or its products. Hence, a logo trademark is not only used to protect a brand’s identity but its products as well.
Thus, it is essential to trademark original and innovative ideas in order to protect them from being stolen by some competitors.
Trademarking any type of intellectual property provides legal certainty to the rightful owner of the product. It helps in legally protecting your ideas and products from any type of theft.
So, the bigger question arises, is it worth it for business owners to trademark their products? Well yes.
Suppose three brands come up with the exact same logo, it will belong to the brand which has the logo trademark. It wouldn’t matter which one of them came up with its idea, legally, the trademark holders will be the rightful owners of that product.
Hence, it is vital to trademark your ideas and products in order to save them from anyone who might try to imitate them. Trademarking not only saves your products from thieves but also makes them unique.
As, there can only be one revolutionary idea in the market, which in turn will help your brand to succeed. Trademarking is nothing but protecting the hard work you put in to make a unique and elegant brand identity. However, there are factors that are to be considered before the logo trademark process begins
As trademarking is a legal process, it takes some time to reach the conclusion (sometimes about four to five months). The process costs around $300- $400, this might be an issue for a business that is just starting out. Hence, it is advised to trademark your intellectual property only when the brand is stable and has a gradual growth in its value.
So, far, we have discussed the necessity of trademarking and its negatives. Let us uncover some steps required to go through the process of logo trademark.
Just like any other legal proceeding, logo trademarking requires a lot of paperwork.
Step 1- Eligibility
There is a specific set of rules for any logo trademark applicant.
-It is essential to apply as an individual business owner apart from your business name.
-Be an individual, company, incorporated association or a combination.
-Have an intent to use or already use the trademark.
Step 2- Availability
Global Brand Database comes in handy here for conducting searches on a worldwide level. It has the data of over a million national and international brands. There is an availability of searching through text and even images. Moreover, there are filters that can be used to narrow down any search according to dates, class, country, etc.
This feature also has specific counterparts in different geographic locations. For example, the Australian Trademarks Search System is the tool used in Australia for conducting these searches. It is essential to do the homework before going through the actual registration process.
Step 3- Filling out the form
The government provides a dedicated website for online applications. For US citizens, the government has provided a platform called, “United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for filling out these forms. As discussed earlier, this step is the most crucial one out of the others as proper paperwork is essential for the logo trademark process.
Opting for a lawyer to guide through these steps is also a good strategy, as it makes the process a lot faster and easier because of the professional help. Some services which help in assisting through this procedure are.
–TM Headstart– This is a pre-application service that helps with assessing your application before submission. The key feature of this service is pointing out any potential issues your application may face while in the process. Hence, this service allows you to prevent these mistakes before submission.
–Online services– As the name suggests, these services are used to provide online assistance with the application filling procedure. This tool can be used for filling, amending, renewing and other activities related to intellectual property.
–Trade Mark Assist– This is a virtual assistant which helps you in exploring other existing trademarks along with identifying the goods and services to protect. This service is more research-oriented.
Step 4- Result
The result may be expected in about three to four months from registration as this is usually how long it takes to review the submitted application. In most cases, the applicant is kept notified about the progress of the registration process. Some governments even let their applicants access a database regarding the status of their applications.
After this phase is over, the logo trademark is kept open for another two months so that any third party or opposition can challenge the application.
The logo trademark is then registered officially.
These steps are fairly easy to navigate through, however, there can be some errors along the way. Especially if you are going about the procedure without any professional assistance. Let us draw some light on these common errors.
-Only searching for logos
When it comes to legal proceedings, anything you say is very important. Hence, only reviewing logos while researching is a very common mistake. Company names, taglines, statements or any other textual information should also be considered while going through the research process. There should be no slack while doing the research work.
-Registering a logo design that is not adaptive-
It is straightforward that your logo design should be future proof. Changing logo designs frequently not only affects the overall image of the brand but the trademark process as well. In the logo trademark procedure, only one version of that logo can be registered under the trademark. Hence, changing it will void that specific logo trademark.
This will not only waste time and resources but the efforts put into both designing and going through the trademark process as well. Hence, design a logo that can stand the test of time. It is essential to go about the logo trademark process only when your design is finalized.
Forgetting to check on your application- The logo trademark process takes a very long to process. If officials flag some issues in your application, the process takes more time than usual. In that case, if the applicant is not checking the application regularly, the trademarking process might get abandoned or cancelled.
Hence, it is essential to keep checking your application frequently in order to keep the process fluid and efficient.
Not renewing a trademark- Just like any other legal documentation, logo trademarks also have a specific lifetime. These trademarks protect your logos for about 10 years in most cases. Hence it is extremely essential to renew the trademark application before it expires, and the brand becomes unprotected again.
However, there is a specific timeframe for the renewal process, which is basically one year before the renewal date or six months after. The renewal should take place in this time frame only otherwise the brand has to pay “late fees”.
As discussed above, registering a timeless logo design is essential. Doing that adds up to the brand identity and saves you from the hassle of registering multiple logos in an alarmingly short duration of time. But, if you don’t have a logo design that acts as a pole star for your organization, consider availing services from platforms like Designfier.
This website is a great medium for getting the job done. Get your brand-new logo design from Designfier if you want to avoid the hassle of making something unique yourself. The key feature available on this website is, “logo design contest” which can provide you with the ultimate logo for your brand.
Once you get a logo design from Designfier, half the process is already completed as this website provides you with full ownership of the product. The only thing to do then is to protect your brand-new logo from imitators by trademarking it and having legal ownership of that product.