Do I Need to Trademark my Logo?
Eric Von Vorys
You spent a lot of time coming up with a good name for your company. You may have even paid a branding company to come up with a good looking logo. You know it is in the best interest of the company to register its name, but you ask yourself: “Do I need to trademark my logo too?”
You need to register your logo if it is important to the branding of your business. For instance, the Nike “swoosh” logo is extremely important to Nike’s business. It sells hundreds of millions of dollars in branded merchandise bearing the “swoosh” logo mark. The U.S. Trademark Act grants the owner of a registered trademark the sole and exclusive rights to use the mark for the identified services in all 50 U.S. states. Besides the grant of exclusive rights, the U.S. Trademark Act also contains several enhanced remedies to protect registration holders from unfair competition. Which is why Nike registered its “swoosh” logo mark numerous times to cover all of its products/services. (See Reg. Nos. 5794674, 5503124, 4704672, 3218672, etc.)
To determine how important your logo is to your business, and if you need it registered, you should ask yourself the following 2 questions:
- If a competitor started using a similar mark to brand its products/services, would I want to make it stop?
- If a competitor sent me a letter demanding that I change my logo because it was too close to the competitor’s logo, would I expend money to try to keep my logo?
If you answered “Yes,” to either of the above questions, then we recommend that you register your logo.