The right logo is a valuable marketing tool for any business. Just think of how the golden arches towering over the highway immediately make you think of french fries or a simple swoosh on an athlete’s shoe lets you know it was designed by Nike. If you’ve designed a memorable logo for your brand, be sure to protect it through trademark registration.
Protect your Business from Infringement
When someone infringes on your logo, either knowingly or unknowingly, it presents a risk to your business. Loyal customers can be steered away from your brand to someone using your logo without permission. Even worse, your brand’s reputation could be damaged if the infringer offers a low-quality product under your logo.
Once your logo has been registered with the USPTO, you can begin to use the ® symbol. Put it anywhere your logo is visible, from your product packaging to your website and marketing material. This serves as public notice that the logo has been registered and is protected against infringement. However, even this notice is not enough to stop some people from using your logo without permission. As a registered trademark owner, you will have the benefit of the presumption of validity nationwide, which allows you to take legal action against potential infringement. You can also register your trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, who can then seize imported goods if they display your registered logo. Use these valuable legal protections to ensure that you maintain control over your logo and your brand’s reputation.
Build Brand Recognition
Your logo is often the first interaction that customers will have with your product or service, and it can even be more recognizable than your business name or product name themselves. Apple, for instance, doesn’t need to use words when a symbol does the job, and the signature logo of a Louis Vuitton bag is immediately recognizable. The right logo can serve as powerful advertising as you build your business, grabbing consumers’ attention quickly and staying with them as you grow.
Once people begin to recognize your logo, you can use that recognition to your advantage to build customer loyalty, growing your business from a single product or service into a brand. If a customer loves an energy drink with your logo on it, for example, they’d be more likely to purchase another product like an energy bar or supplement, if it bears the same logo. Customers will begin to associate your logo not just with a product or service, but with a level of quality as well.
Own an Appreciating Asset
The minimal investment to register your logo could see large returns in the future. Unlike other business assets, you may have, like inventory, equipment, or vehicles, your federally registered logo can actually increase in value as your brand grows. It can also earn you additional profits through licensing agreements. Your logo can be bought and sold just like any other asset. In fact, a registered trademark is typically a requirement of investors or buyers looking to purchase your business down the road.
Expand your Business
Without a registered trademark, your logo will only be protected in the small geographic region where your business is located. If you have plans to grow and expand your business outside your current area in the future, you may be prohibited from using your logo or other trademarks in certain regions of the country if a confusingly similar mark is already in use. When you register your logo with the USPTO, you’ll have the presumption of validity in all fifty states, allowing you to freely grow and expand your business in the future.
With the growth of online sales in recent years, it’s not farfetched to think that you may also reach customers outside the United States at some point. While your federally registered trademark won’t protect your logo in disputes that occur in other countries, it’s the first step in acquiring international protections. Once you’ve submitted your trademark application to the USPTO, you can then file a trademark application outside the United States, either directly through each country’s trademark office or through the Madrid Protocol, an international treaty that allows you to file a single application that can then be sent to over 90 member countries. Get additional steps on trademarking a logo.
Register your Logo with the USPTO
A memorable logo is a valuable asset to any business, but only if it’s registered with the USPTO. Before you begin to use your logo, engage a trademark attorney to assist you in conducting a trademark search and submitting your trademark application. Once your logo has been approved by the USPTO, you’ll have the presumption of validity nationwide, allowing you to expand to other areas and take legal action if a potential infringement is found. A recognizable logo will also help you to build recognition for your brand and will grow in value as your business grows. Start the process to protect your logo through trademark registration today.