Choosing a wordmark or a logo as a trademark depends on the flexibility each offers. If you file for a logo, then it is important to use it as it is shown in your application. The issue is consistency and detail. On the other hand, choosing a wordmark as a trademark offers some degree of flexibility.
The combinations and choices available in a wordmark aren’t limited to a particular color or font – they are endless. On the contrary, you can use the wordmark in any combination of upper case and lower-case letters. For instance, MAG TRADEMARKS ROCK is the wordmark you have filed for and want to use it on your products or services. You are free to use different versions of the same wordmark, such as Mag Trademarks Rock or MaG TradeMark RocKS.
However, filing for a logo has its advantages. Consider filing for a mark that has generic words or uses a description of your product; in such an instance, your mark is usually limited to the Supplement Register. However, your trademark can go to Principal Register if your trademark has a distinct logo even when your mark is descriptive.
Let’s say you want to file for a company that sells balloon BALLONS & CO. With this mark, your registration will only be limited to the Supplemental Register because it is descriptive of the goods or services you offer.
Now, consider filing for the same mark, but this time try using a distinctive logo with it. This allows the mark BALLOONS & CO. to move onto Principal Register because of the sufficient distinctiveness provided by the logo.
How Is Filing for A Logo Advantageous When There Are Similar Marks?
Logos have their advantage when you need sufficient distinctiveness for your trademark.
Consider an example of a client who wanted to register for computer software in Class 9, whose purpose is to connect customers to security contractors with a mark HAWQUE, alongside a flying hawk as a design element.
It was advised that the wordmark HAWQUE would be too similar to other marks consisting of the word “HAWK,” providing similar services or products in the same class even if the logo was most likely to be registrable.
There’s another example that highlights the advantages of opting for a logo. A client wanted to mark DISTINGUISHED APPAREL and was satisfied with any one of the options – logo or the wordmark. Upon research, we discovered that there was a very similar registered mark: DISTINGUISHED CLOTHING. Since the client wanted either the wordmark or the logo, we advised on settling for a logo because the latter had a higher chance of registration. However, we still received an objection based on the confusion caused by the similarity of the marks DISTINGUISHED APPAREL and DISTINGUISHED CLOTHING.
In the end, we were successful in registering the logo, but the client couldn’t use Distinguished Apparel in a different font, without the image or in ALL CAPITAL letters because he protected the logo. By opting for a logo, the client couldn’t alter a single letter, and even the smallest change wasn’t possible.
On the contrary, if the client had opted for a wordmark – DISTINGUISHED APPAREL, he could have used it in any font, size, side by side, or one word above the other. If it best fits you to use your trademark in as many variations as possible on your product and services, then you should go for a wordmark instead of a logo.
Even though logos make it hard to apply changes to the trademark, but they are important in differentiating between similar trademarks. Before registering in Principal Register, you should determine whether you are going to use the mark consistently on multiple projects or if it is too descriptive to be registered. You should decide beforehand if you are aiming for Principal registration or Supplement registration for your trademark.