An organization's logo is the most recognizable symbol of its brand. The more respected an organization becomes, the more inherent value its logo will retain. Fortunately, trademarking a logo is easy, and doing so will protect your organization's emblem from any threats of infringement. While there are any number of trademark services available, there are only a handful that have earned a reputation for being accessible, efficient, and fast. With that in mind, we've provided a breakdown - including drawbacks and benefits - of some of the best trademark services on the web.
When You Need To Trademark Your Logo Now
The more visible your business, the more you'll want a logo to be trademarked. In certain circumstances, this may even become urgent. Perhaps a competitor is infringing on your emblem, or you and another company have both arrived at a similar concept. Either way, you need that logo to be trademarked. This is where Trademark Express (TE) really lives up to its name. TE guarantees that it'll fast-track the process, allowing you to bypass days, or even weeks, worth of delays. TE also allows clients to submit up to three logo ideas simultaneously, just in case one or two of those ideas is considered too derivative to be accepted. How fast is TE? So fast that the company assures it can begin filing your paperwork within five business hours. It is worth noting, however, that TE doesn't provide any in-house legal counsel. That said, the service does offer clients the option of a free 20-minute phone consultation with a referred trademark attorney.
Work Hand-In-Hand With An Experienced Attorney
LegalZoom assigns each account to an experienced trademark attorney who will not only offer clients positive guidance, but also advise them on some common pitfalls to avoid. Such expertise is critical, particularly in the case of trademarks, where one missed box could result in you having to refile the entire application. LegalZoom's trademark service is comparatively expensive, and it does not include any governmental filing fees, with the corollary being that each client retains ongoing access to an attorney - a benefit that could be worth its weight in gold.
A Trademark Service That Is Easy, Electronic, & Inexpensive
The biggest obstacle to trademarking a logo is that there may already be a logo out there that's too similar. My Corporation removes all of the guesswork by allowing you to use its software, risk-free, to determine whether your proposed logo could be rejected on that basis. Assuming your logo passes the test, My Corporation will prepare and file all of the application paperwork for you, facilitating every step right up and through the final approval. My Corporation's service is relatively affordable and it includes first-rate customer service. The only drawback being that My Corporation doesn't offer its clients any opportunity to consult with a trademark attorney, one-on-one.
Enjoy Great Service Before, During, & After A Logo Has Been Trademarked
If you're interested in a top-of-the-line trademark service, there really is no substitute for TrademarkPlus (TP). This company offers end-to-end guidance, including various legal options connected not only to trademarks, but U.S. "certification marks" (i.e., a transferable trademark that can appear on any affiliated party's product or services), as well. Beyond that, TP offers an exclusive watchdog service that lets clients know whenever someone is attempting to trademark a logo that is similar to theirs. Choose from four price packages, based on your budget and needs. This service offers a secure server for filing applications, along with free shipping on any trademark-related documents.
Trademarking Logos: In-Depth
Over time, an organization's logo can become its currency. Not only does a logo embody all of the values that an organization represents, that logo can also boost the sales of any product or service it has been associated with. Thus, it follows that every owner should protect his company's logo with a trademark. Owning a trademark forbids any other organization from infringing on whatever goodwill or earning power an organization has already established. As an example, consider "knockoff" products (i.e., products that are intentionally designed to look like they were made by a well-known company). If a knockoff product deliberately carries an insignia that appears similar to a trademarked logo, that product's manufacturer - and even its seller - could be subject to a lawsuit, or even criminal prosecution.
How The Trademark Got Baked In
The first trademarks were ratified during the 13th Century as a result of British street peddlers who had begun insisting that their loaves were being prepared by local bakers. This was either a lie, in which case it gave the established baker a bad name, or it was only true in the sense that the peddler had stolen a batch of stale loaves out of the baker's garbage. Either way, the problem had become an epidemic. King Henry III responded by mandating that there needed to be a consistent marker on every loaf that would represent the signature of its baker. This way an average customer would be able to differentiate each baker's product in the same way that a baker would be able to tell if someone had been stealing his loaves.
Trademark laws evolved throughout the 14th and 15th Centuries in England, but they weren't instituted in America until the late 1800s. The U.S. Supreme Court initially shot down what were then being proposed as "trade-mark laws", but Congress continued its push, and under appeal, the notion of a legal trademark won out.
The Logo As An Emblem
Today, corporate trademarks are widely used to represent the branding source of a product or service. Most people would assume, for example, that any basketball bearing a Spalding logo is probably a high-quality product. Why? One might argue this is because basketball aficionados (and even casual fans) know that Spalding is the official brand of the NBA. And they know that because they see a Spalding logo every time they tune in to watch an NBA game on TV. This is, of course, a highly beneficial byproduct of Spalding perfecting its craft over the course of 140 years. The company was originally introduced in 1876. Its logo couldn't even be trademarked for another five years.
The point being that credibility is something an average company needs to accumulate over time. In that spirit, most independent businesses decide upon their logo fairly early. The more those businesses grow, the more reassured people feel whenever they see the accompanying logo on a new product, or any accompanying service. The logo as an emblem takes on a power all its own.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information provided on this website is accurate at the time of writing, the information provided is for general guidance only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Always consult a qualified Intellectual Property lawyer operating in your local jurisdiction.