If you're a small to medium-sized business, navigating trademark and patent law can be confusing, to say the least. Each country has different laws for common law protection and registration guidelines. You want to protect your brand and your business without creating unnecessary costs. You may have a logo and a company name that you would like to protect. But does logo registration differ from name registration? Do you need to complete one or both? There are important differences between the two and misunderstanding them can cost your business money. Worse, you may think you are protected when you are not.
Let's make sure you understand the difference and get the protection you need.
Name registration is just that: you register the name of your company and claim ownership so it's not taken by another company. Your business name is the most recognizable asset of your company's presence. Plus, you want to protect yourself against entities misusing your name as well. Name registration can cover your company name in all forms, while logo registration only covers that unique identifier of your company design.
Trademarks Don’t Usually Change
One piece of perspective is that while trademarks don't usually change, logos often do. In an effort to reach out to new audiences or remain current in the marketplace companies may revamp their logo. On its way to a global identity change Subway recently revamped their logo. And sports teams like the Detroit Pistons have recently announced plans to change their logo as well. We recommend companies register in two places in the USA, China, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and a few other places to increase the protection. You can see from a simple registration query that there is a difference between the types of registration. But in some cases, if a company has a unique logo to associate with their name, they will want to register both.
Choose One Or The Other?
But should you really choose one over the other? The reason the difference is so important for small and medium-sized businesses is simple. They are worried about mounting business costs. Since logo registration and name registration are two distinct categories they each have costs associated with them. But these costs are significantly lower when you consider branding, marketing, and the profit potential of name recognition. But we all recognize that the primary concern for a business is balancing cost against revenue. Many small and medium-sized companies may elect to register their name prior to their logo. The answer has to do with the level of protection and the maturity of your business.
Types of Trademark Protection
Do you want the best protection? Then, it's time to trademark. In fact, there are cases where a phrase has been trademarked. In many cases, there is a difference between word marks and figurative marks. A legal name trademark can result in companies being ordered to stop using words associated with their brand.One example is the Netflix television show using the title "House of Cards," a phrase that was trademarked by another company. Your business name is your calling card in the business world. Without protection, there is nothing to stop another entity from using your name to poach your current and future clients.
Logos Take Time and Skill
If you are thinking of registering a logo, ask yourself this: is your logo even ready? If it is, by all means, it's time to register that baby now. There is nothing like a quality logo to create a quality brand. A logo means instant recognition. If you look at logos for Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, or Google , you are likely to recognize them immediately, right? But not all logos are created equal. They don't need to be expensive to be effective, but they need to be recognizable and unique. The original Twitter logo cost just $15 to make and created a brand that is associated with quality. But does your business have the next Twitter logo on its hands? Also, what is your core business and how important is a logo in advancing your strategy? If you aren't sure, you may want to opt for business name registration first. You can complete your logo registration later when you are sure you have a winner on your hands!
Logo Registration and Colors
Many companies wonder if they need to submit a logo in color or black and white when completing their logo registration. As with all aspects of trademark law, the rules differ by jurisdiction. It's hard to think of any other color in the McDonald's Golden Arches than gold. But for many logos, you may want to expand coverage. You don't need to limit color usage in some cases. Many experts suggest not associating colors with your logo during the application process. Then you will be able to use any colors you choose over time and still have legal protection of your property.
All Over The World
Logo and name registration regulations are different across the globe. In addition to asking yourself which products might need a logo registration, you also want to consider the countries and jurisdictions you do business in as well. A logo is excellent for creating brand recognition for international marketing efforts that cross language barriers. You can build your company without the limitations borne from a lack of understanding. In today's global digital marketplace that benefit is essential. Being protected is essential too. In many cases, you may want expert help to get you the advice and protection you need.
Get the Expert Help You Need
Countless business owners need help with trademark registration. They want coverage that protects their name, logo, and all facets of their business. iGERENT can help. We are a company that specializes in providing global intellectual property services. We provide cost-effective solutions for our clients’ trademark, patent, copyright and domain name dispute related needs.
Don't wait another day to have your questions answered by specialists in trademarking. Contact iGERENT now to get the best support in every aspect of your worldwide trademark registration !