A trademark safeguards any phrase, term, company name, emblem, or visual representation that distinguishes a firm from its products or services. A company’s logo is a symbol or pattern that trademark laws may protect. Many companies opt to protect their logos as trademarks, and a trademark prevents others from using an identical or similar mark once it has been authorized.
Difference Between Logo And Trademark
A trademark must be distinctive to be eligible for legal protection. Before submitting an application, designers and business owners should thoroughly explore the database of already-registered trademarks. If you can’t locate anything like that, yours ought to be accepted. However, it’s best to be aware before wasting time and resources on an application that will be turned down.
A unique and inventive design is worth protecting, but it’s typically more crucial to register the words that make up a particular mark or design. There are various trademark registration categories, some of which are more lenient than others. Since more trademark infringements are motivated by protected words rather than protected designs, trademarking your terms provides more substantial protection.
A company logo is among the symbols which companies trademarked the most frequently. Businesses utilize their logo on various things, including automobiles, clothing, uniforms, marketing materials, etc. Your logo is in danger if a trademark doesn’t protect it, and there are no limits on someone using anything substantially similar in a similar business.
To prevent customer misunderstanding, a logo should be trademarked. Lawmakers intend to ensure that a consumer could quickly tell what good or service came from what company. Without adequate legal protection, any business might change another’s logos without running the danger of legal trouble, leaving customers unsure of which products to purchase.
Why Are Trademarks Important vs. Logos?
Many companies question if it is necessary to trademark their logos. It is crucial to connect your competitors’ brands with a comparable logo or design. Your business cannot legally defend your design if it lacks a registered trademark. Furthermore, the rival company will likely get trademark protection if they apply their design first.
It’s challenging to establish which business used a logo initially. The concerned department often utilizes the application’s filing date and other details to determine who is the rightful owner of the logo. If you haven’t applied, you risk losing the right to make use of your creation.
It usually takes 6 to 16 months to get a trademark application approved. However, your company may use the logo on its materials and goods in the interim. However, use the Trademark Electronic Search System to look up any already-registered trademarks before using the logo. Do not use a logo that is confusingly similar to one protected by a trademark.
Moreover, if you don’t want to create your own trademark, you can purchase a trademark from someone else.
Difference Between TM. And SM
Before obtaining trademark approval, you have two possibilities for using a logo. You might start by including the TM or SM emblems in your logo. These symbols have no legal significance, but they have a purpose—they let your rivals know you own the design. The symbols also convey your intention to register a trademark.
SM stands for a service mark and TM for trademark. You can add TM to a company’s logo if it sells goods and products and SM to its logo if it sells services.
Your second choice is to omit the symbols from your logo if you do not need them for legal purposes. However, there is considerable risk involved. Your rivals won’t be aware that you intend to submit a trademark application if you don’t use the symbols.
Why Should You Legally Protect Your Trademark Or Logo
Companies often submit the design or logo along with the trademark application in the same form. You’ll probably send it in total capital letters if it is just a regular character mark, which is just words. The trademark, however, will protect all modifications and forms once it has been authorized. For instance, using a design with an uppercase form of a letter from your company name would be protected under trademark law. Additionally, it holds true for whatever font, size, or color is utilized in the design.
However, a trademark on a design or logo only covers the specifics of what you filed. If you alter the logo, you must submit a new application. Business owners could desire to submit various requests for trademarks on their company logos, such as:
- The color version of the logo
- The white-and-black version of the logo
- The word or phrase’s typical character mark (text only)
Multiple applications secure your logo in all formats, allowing you to utilize it without restriction.
Remembering trademark protection prevents another person or business from utilizing a mark that could mislead customers is also crucial. However, since the actual goods or services are not protected, anyone can provide anything under a different mark, and a patent only protects a particular product.
There is some protection for businesses under common law trademark rights. These rights are granted by regularly using a logo or other symbol for business purposes. However, trademark rights prevail over common law trademark rights if the in question mark injures a trademark owned by another person or company.