Steps to Protect Your Logo and Preserving Your Image
If you protect your logo it will summarize your business’s beliefs, cultures, values and quality without the need of any further explanation. The logo is the face of your business to the entire world in the sense that whenever anyone sees it; it will act as an immediate reference to your business. The design itself, as depicted by the fonts, the unique graphical perspective as well as the colors is a statement of your brand and as such, you ought to acquire exclusivity in its adoption and use.
However, if your logo becomes so successful and it manages to acquire a fanatic following for a user base, it risks being mimicked, copied or knocked off by unscrupulous businesse entities for promoting their poor quality products. If you had not taken the necessary steps to protect your logo against such unethical business practices, you wouldn’t just lose a huge chunk of your business to the competition, but also, you risk tarnishing the image of your company. This is because the knockoffs will be of poor quality and the consumers may not tell that they are imitations of your products and all the blame will fall back on you. It is therefore of utmost importance to protect your logo so as to preserve your company image and brand.
Presented here is a series of steps to help you take the appropriate measures to shield your logo against being used without your permission by any third parties.
Logo Search and Assessment
The first thing you need to do when you want to protect your logo is to determine if there is already a business using a logo, symbol or words that can be used to identify your company or your brand. If there is no such logo, symbols or words already in use, then you are free to go ahead with the rest of the process. However, you must also assess the logo and be sure that the images, symbols, and words used directly identify your business or brand.
In trademark search, you want to do a thorough search with the relevant bodies to confirm that no other company has registered anything similar to what you intend to obtain a trademark for. There are certain instances when your phrases or wording may reflect those used by another company, in which case you will be compelled to revise such phrases since you will be infringing on the trademark rights of those businesses. In the United States, you can use the Trademark Electronic Search System as well as the Design Search Code Manual to find out if various components of your logo are already in use by other parties. This step is very crucial when you want to protect your logo because you can get rights when your logo is unique in all aspects.
Hire a trademark attorney
At this stage, it would be prudent to decide whether you will need the services of a trademark attorney for the rest of the remaining process when you want to protect your logo. This is especially crucial if you found that are other businesses using design components like the ones you use for your logo and need legal counsel on how you can navigate around it without necessarily losing the core of your design and marketing message. If you hire an attorney at this point, they will be in touch with the patents office until the whole process of acquiring a trademark for your logo is complete.
The next step to protect your logo is to apply for a trademark. This can be done online using the Electronic Trademark Application System and is the most preferred methods of applying for a trademark when you want to protect your logo. Alternatively, you can also use the US Patents and Trademark’s Office to apply manually. It is a slightly tedious process, and you may get confused unless you enlist the services of a trademark attorney.
After you submit the application to protect your logo successfully, there will be a long waiting spell that can last for up to six months. But during this time, you will be presented with a trademark serial number tied specifically to your trademark. Additionally, you can monitor the application process and exactly which stage you are at when you apply to protect your logo. You can monitor the process by using USPTO’s trademark application monitoring tool.
Eventually, you will receive a verdict on your application to protect your logo. This can be an approval or a denial of the application. If the application is successful, you shall have acquired all the trademark rights to your logo, and you will thus have the ability to protect your logo against use by any other party and consequently preserving the image of your company.