Greetings. I’m Trademark Attorney Josh Gerben and today I’m going to talk a little bit about whether you should file your trademark as a logo or just the words themselves. If the words will carry the registration by themselves, meaning they’re unique enough, then it is normally my suggestion to file an application for just the words themselves. Then, if budget allows, we can come back and file a second application for the logo itself.
If you file a trademark as a name and a logo combined, then you must always use that exact combination on your products or services. So, for example, if Nike had filed the trademark “Nike”, and then the swoosh underneath it – so you have “Nike” and then the swoosh underneath it as one application – they would always be required to use that exact orientation with Nike on top and the swoosh underneath, and have them both appear together.
As we all know, Nike uses these parts differently. Sometimes you may just see the swoosh. Sometimes you may just see “Nike”. Sometimes you may see them together. Therefore, in addition to filing the trademark as the “Nike” and the swoosh, you will see Nike has filed just the word “Nike” and just the swoosh. This allows them to use the trademarks like legos, and either put them together or take them apart however they’d like.
So please, just remember, if you file a trademark application (more here) for your name and your logo combined, such as, let’s say, “Coca-Cola” in that fancy font, and then you ever change your font, you will not be able to renew and maintain that registration. You will have to start all over again. Therefore, if you just file “Coca-Cola”, the words themselves without any font, without any style, without any other artwork, you will always be able to maintain that registration as long as that is the word you use to identify your product.
Thank you very much, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a call.