Branding a name and a logo: together or separately?

Trademarks can be product or service names, logos, slogans, packaging, and even sounds and smells. In essence, a trademark can be just about anything used to identify a particular product or service. Registering a trademark gives the owner exclusive rights to the trademark within the specified industry. Of course, it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the trademark before filing it to ensure that there is no possibility of infringing another party.

Let’s assume you’ve done your due diligence, extensive research has been done, and your name and logo are legally available. The next step is to apply for a federal trademark.

Now when it comes to filing, a big question is whether the name and logo should be filed together or separately.

This decision will depend on a series of circumstances, as it happens with most things in the world of brands. Let’s take some time to look at a few different scenarios:

1) Your extensive trademark research on the logo shows that it is legally available, while trademark research on the name shows a similar name, not the same, within a related industry, not the same. Your trademark attorney may recommend that you file the name and logo together to ensure registration.

2) When displaying your brand (eg advertising, website, labels or tags, etc.), the logo is ALWAYS displayed with the name, but the name is sometimes displayed without the logo. In this case, you may want to submit two applications: the name and logo together AND the name alone.

3) The logo you are using is the crux of your brand and the name you are using is completely descriptive of your products/services. You may want to register your logo only OR register your logo only AND register name and logo together.

One important thing to keep in mind, regardless of your particular situation, is that whatever is filed with the USPTO is exactly how you should use the mark. The USPTO wants to see your brand when you present it to your customers.

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