Would adding a logo to a trademark application increase the chances of a successful registration?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

If your brand name/product name is descriptive, adding a logo might increase your chances for a successful registration. However, you should keep in mind that the logo must be unique and dominant. If you add a generic shape or a small ornament, it will not help in increasing your chances.

Similarly, applying a font to your brand name/product will not add sufficient uniqueness, as fonts are not considered dominant elements. There are some exemptions to this rule. For example, if the font is custom and very unique.

The problem with adding a logo to a descriptive or generic brand name is that the protection is very limited. You will only be protected if someone copies the entire trademark, that is, the logo plus the text. In some cases, if the logo is dominant, you can claim infringement if a third party copies the logo. However, if the text is copied, you have no legal grounds to stop people from using it, as you cannot claim exclusive rights to generic or descriptive terms.

We also have to add that you cannot add a logo to a trademark application that has already been filed. If you are drafting your application and want to add a logo, bear in mind that you are changing the whole scope of the protection you are applying for by shifting from a wordmark to a figurative mark - here is where the considerations of someone copying text vs copying text from a figure come into play.

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