Should you register your Brand Name + Logo together or separately?

TM Filing strategy

Updated July 2020

I am often asked by business owners about whether they can or should file a trademark application for their brand name and logo together in one application.

The first important thing to note is that each trademark application that is filed covers only a single trademark, so if you file an application containing your brand name and a logo together, then the scope of trademark protection is for that specific arrangement & combination of both features; that is the application won’t protect each of the components separately.

Word Trademark

If you file your brand name as a standard character trademark (e.g. ABC CAFÉ) then the scope of your protection would include your brand name in any font, colour and/or combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. It is beneficial to have this broad protection since if use a different colour or font to display your brand name, your use of the trademark is still covered by the trademark registration.

If you do want to protect your brand name in a particular font/style as it has become distinctive of your brand, then you could file for the non-standard character trademark, for example:The scope of protection would cover your brand name in this specific style/font, and therefore the protection is less broad than filing a standard character trademark.

Design Trademark

If filed on its own, a design trademark will protect the features and arrangement of your logo/design separately from your brand name (e.g. standard character trademark). As well, if no colour is specified then it will protect your logo regardless of colour so you can use the logo/design in any colour and still be covered under the trademark registration.

Composite Trademark

Sometimes for cost reasons, you may consider filing the combination of your brand name + logo in one trademark application. As previously discussed, it is important to realize that your scope of protection for the composite trademark is limited to the specific arrangement & combination of both features; and the application will not protect the individual components of the composite mark on their own.

Accordingly, if filing a composite trademark it is important for you to continue to use the exact arrangement & combination of the trademark on your products and in the advertising and provision of your services in the future in order to maintain a trademark registration for a composite trademark.

If you plan to use your brand name and logo separately from each in other in the future, then it is strongly recommended that you file two applications for each of these components. As well, if you think you may want to change the font used to display your brand name, then you should consider filing a standard character trademark so that you have the flexibility to make such changes in the future.

Next Steps

Many businesses choose to protect their brand with two separate applications, one for their word mark and one for their logo. By filing separate applications you protect each of the components independently of the other.

Contact Sander Law to register your trademarks today!

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.