Logos distinguish your business from the competition. Trademarks ensure that you maintain exclusive rights to this highly identifiable feature of your company. Rather than being at odds with each other, trademark rights provide protection for your logo, and this protects both you and your customers.
Identifies Your Business
Your logo is a visual and symbolic representation of your company in the marketplace. More importantly, it communicates something about your business: who you are, what you have to offer and what your company is about. An effective logo makes you stand out in a beneficial way. Safeguard this important marketing tool through trademark rights.
Your trademark identifies you and your business as the source of your products and services. It ensures that your customers know that what they are getting is a bona fide product by you, and not a competitor's copy or knock-off. You can obtain trademark protection without formally registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Once you have used your logo in commerce in association with your goods and services, you have established common-law trademark rights in your geographical trade area. To expand your trademark rights and more effectively protect it against infringement, you can register your logo as an official trademark with the USPTO.
References & Resources
- Intellectual Property: The Law of Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets; Deborah E. Bouchoux
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office: Frequently Asked Questions about Trademarks
- BitLaw: Common Law Trademark Rights
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office: Trademarks
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images