Your name was selected, and your logo was designed. Now you need to protect the brand assets by trademarks and copyrights.

There are many unscrupulous people out there willing to take advantage of your innovative intellectual property.

Trademark your logo to protect it from being stolen.

Regardless of the size of your company or business, you can apply for a trademark.

Trademarks And Copyrights laws:

  1. Copyright covers creative works of expression fixed into a tangible medium of expression.
  2. The trademark covers business names, slogans, and other items used to identify it in the marketplace.
Business Logos: Protection Through Trademarks And Copyrights

Should I copyright or trademark my logo?

However, there is a great deal of overlap in trademark and copyright law, and companies use these laws to shield their trademarks from undesired use.

  1. Copyright is designed to protect against almost all unlicensed copying that is outside of fair use.
  2. Trademark only deals with the use of the mark that causes confusion in that company’s marketplace.

In short, trademarks are designed not to avoid copying, but confusion in the marketplace, thereby significantly restricting what uses of the logo may be deemed infringing.

We need to dig deeper in the copyright/trademark law to understand the difference. In this post, I will provide you with a full guidance on the proper use of both copyright and trademark laws. Looking to trademark your logo and brand name?

Business Logos: Protection Through Trademarks And Copyrights

Next, let’s distinguish between these two words.

1. Copyright vs. Trademark

The only way to obtain trademark rights is by registration This is the source of confusion with logos – they can apply for a trademark and copyright protection.

Business Logos: Protection Through Trademarks And Copyrights

Copyright vs. Trademark

In order to better understand copyright and trademark law, it is essential to know which types of intellectual properties are covered.

The biggest difference between a copyright and a trademark is that a trademark protects your company name and logo from infringement, but copyright won’t protect your brand’s name and logo.

Copyright is made for artistic works protection (i.e. its authorship)

A common symbol for copyright is ©, but you can also add “Copyright” or “Copr.” and even your name and the year the work was published. For example “© 2014 by Harsh Designs” at the bottom of my website claims the right to everything on it.

Trademark is made to prevent confusion in the company’s marketplace.

There are different symbols for trademark protection:

  1. ™ for the unregistered trademark
  2. ℠ for the unregistered service trademark
  3. ® for the registered trademark

The process of copyright and trademarks take time, but by starting now you ensure you don’t lose your rights to ownership. On the other hand, if you don’t have a trademark and copyright you may not be able to sue another party for infringement of your logo.

2. Trademark Protection

The word trademark is used to protect things that identify a business in the marketplace along with logos.

Thus, trademarks are usually protected by patent, and enforceability is otherwise enforced.

Trademark protects all details of your work (names, words, colors, font, etc.)

Business Logos: Protection Through Trademarks And Copyrights

Trademark protection ®

By using the trademark symbol, you notify other people that the products they use are your property.

Business Logos: Protection Through Trademarks And Copyrights

The three symbols that represent trademark are the circled R (®), little capital letters TM (™), and the little capital letters SM (℠).

3. How to Copyright a Logo & How to Trademark a Logo

Step 1: Search for a “crazy-enough” brand name

You get the point, don’t you? Come up with a wacky and quirky brand name, because all the generic ones are any which way taken. Before zeroing in on one name, you might want to do a quick search to make sure that no one else is already using the name. And your best bet would be to use invented or coined words, in a combination with generic words.

Trademark Search:
Trademark Class: (or)

Step 2: Making the trademark application

Now that your name is finalized upon, fill in the trademark application i.e.

Trademark Registration:

Step 3: Examining the brand name registration application

After receiving the application, the Registrar checks whether the brand name complies with the law and does not conflict or dispute with other existing registered or pending brands. That’s why we said, quirky brand name, people!​​​​​​​

Step 4: Publication in the Indian Trade Mark Journals

After examination, the logo or brand name is published in the Indian Trade Mark Journal. If no one raises an opposition within 3 months i.e. 90 days or in some cases 120 days, from the date of publication, the brand name proceeds to acceptance.​​​​​​​

Step 5: Issuance of the trademark registration certificate

If no one raises any opposition, within the stipulated 90 days period, the Registrar accepts the trademark application! Boohoo! And issues a Certificate of Registration under the seal of Trademark Registry.​​​​​​​

You may now be allowed to use the registered trademark symbol (®) next to your brand name, once the certificate has been issued.

Trademark, The whole process of registration of a brand name usually takes anything between 15-18 months. The trademark once accepted, is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issuance of the Certificate of Registration. After the end of 10 years, the trademark will need to be renewed.

There there! We can understand if this sounds a little too overwhelming. In which case, just call up a lawyer.  The lawyer will be able to help you wade through all this legal jargon.

Although the process of registering a trademark is lengthy and a little heavy on the pocket, it is definitely worth the investment of legally protecting your brand.

About the Author:

Harsh Puranam

Harsh Puranam is a Senior Graphic Designer, SMM Expert, and Video Creator from Hyderabad, Telangana.

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