A question many new business owners ask is whether or not they need a trademark for their business logo. It’s a logical question for anyone that is serious about being in business and protecting their ideas. First though, it’s important to know what a trademark is as well as the advantages and disadvantages of trademarking a business logo.
What Is a Trademark Exactly?
The United States Trademark and Patents Office defines a trademark as “a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.”
What Are the Advantages of Getting a Trademark on a Business Logo?
The first advantage of getting your business logo trademarked is it creates professionalism. By trademarking the logo you claim ownership and make your business appear more important to customers. Another benefit is being able to better defend your ownership of the logo in legal situations. Should someone else start using the same logo, you’ll have a better chance at winning a lawsuit against them because you had the logo trademarked. Last, but certainly not least, trademarking your logo allows you to sue those that make knockoffs of your product.
What Are the Disadvantages?
The first drawback is the time and money it takes to trademark your logo. This can be an expensive process and can take months to complete. It’s also a complicated process and, once done, you’ll have to pay renewal fees every 10 years. Another disadvantage is you must use the trademarked logo shortly after being granted the trademark and you must use the logo continuously. Someone hoping to trademark a logo for future use will be wasting their time and money. Lastly, any change to the logo will require you to register a new trademark.
Should You Get One?
It’s not necessary to trademark your business logo. You will have rights to defend your logo should you need to because you created an original logo and own the rights to it. However, it’s easy to see that any business that expects their company to become large and powerful should trademark their logo. If you’re running a small, local business, you may never have the need for a trademark. If you expect your business to become the next Amazon or Apple, you’d better trademark your logo.
There are advantages and disadvantages to trademarking a business logo and you can find more information about those here. However, those that expect big business from their company, should take the time to acquire a trademark. Trademarks give businesses an air of professionalism and allow business owners to protect their logo in court against copycats and those making knockoffs.