This is Brian Hall, a trademark attorney with Traverse Legal, PLC, a trademark law firm specializing in representation of trademark owners throughout the world. Today, will be answering the question of how to trademark a logo, image or design.
When looking to acquire trademark registration for a logo, image or design, much of the same steps are followed as when you’re trying to acquire a trademark registration for a word or phrase. You first need to do a trademark availability assessment, sometimes known as a trademark clearance. This allows a trademark attorney to go out and see what has been registered and/or filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This is critically important in order to make sure that the logo, design or image that you are looking to register has not already been registered. And it’s important to recognize that it’s not only an exact replication that hasn’t been registered or applied for, but also something that is confusingly similar, which is the test for trademark infringement. Just as you can search for words to make sure that those haven’t been registered, there is a design manual that allows you to search for designs, images and logos to ensure that what you are applying for will entitle you to protection as a registered trademark.
Once a trademark attorney has provided you with an opinion that the trademark you seek to register is, indeed, clear, the next step is filling out a trademark application with the USPTO. This particular application requests such information as a replica of the logo, design or image you intend to use, proof of use of that actual logo, design or image on the goods or services in which you will use it, known as a specimen, and other information related to you or your business.
While a trademark attorney is not absolutely critical for this stage of the process, it is highly recommended in light of the next stage, that being the assignment of that particular application to an examining attorney. Simply put, just as the USPTO has an attorney reviewing the application, you, as a business or individual entity, should have a trademark attorney representing your interests. This will allow the trademark attorney to review whatever office action or statement from the USPTO examining attorney regarding the application might be, and respond to it as necessary. This will give you the best opportunity of successfully registering your trademark, and, in particular, your trademark as a logo, image or design.
So, to recap, when determining how to register a logo, image or design, you follow many of the same steps you follow with a traditional trademark registration or application for a word or a phrase. However, the additional component of making sure that the design doesn’t match or is confusingly similar to another previously pending or registered design is absolutely critical.
This has been Brian Hall answering your question: how to register a trademark design, logo, or image.
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