A well-designed logo is not just an invaluable tool in your business marketing plan, but it can also go a long way in establishing brand recognition. It therefore is not that unusual for an individual or company to want to legally protect that logo from being used by others. To do so, you must register that logo as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
You are not required to register your logo and you do in fact have some rights based just on using the mark consistently throughout your business. However, owning a federal trademark registration gives you several advantages including:
- constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark;
- a legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;
- the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
- the use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; and
- the ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
To learn more about trademarking, read the “Basic Facts About Trademarks” produced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.