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Trademark Logo vs. Design vs. Name

Trademark branding strategies for Names & Logos.

Nike protects many of its brand names and logos with trademarks.  Juat notice how each name and logo (the swoosh), are always somewhat separated. That is because Nike did not combine the name and logo into one trademark.  Apple uses the name “apple” and the logo of an apple for its marks.  Tesla has protection on its name and uses a logo.  All these companies, when advertising and marketing their brands use the names and logos together but in actuality, they are all separately registered trademarks.  

The name of the brand is called the “house mark.”  This is the Nike, Apple, or Tesla.  Whereas the logo is used as a design mark that can distinguish the source of goods or services. That’s the swoosh for Nike, the apple picture for Apple, the T logo on Tesla’s vehicles, and even the diamond for Ethereum.  

File Brand Names as Word Marks & Logos as Design Marks 

It’s always best to trademark your business name and logo separately in order to use them separately. If you end up rebranding in the future, it’s unlikely that you’ll change your business name, but your logo might evolve.

Logos are offered protection for any words that they encompass within the design, but those words are not necessarily given as broad of protection as if they stood alone.

A house mark that is registered as a word mark can be used in any way. On the flip side, logos have to be used in the way it was registered with the USPTO. However, if you file it in black & white, then you can use any color combo. Still, logo or design marks, are much more limited in the way your brand may use the logo than word marks.

The logo mark cannot replace the house brand, but it does may elicit a more emotional response from the consumers with the products or services.  Since it does not protect the house brand, a company or individual should consider obtaining registrations for both types.  

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Karana IP works with startups to register their entity, develop a brand capable of being protected free from potential conflict with existing companies & brands, and protects that brand once it’s established.

Let Karana IP get you from ™️ to ®️.

If you have a new brand to protect, Karana IP has the ability to help you choose, protect, and enforce trademarks under state and federal law.  Contact Karana IP Law, LLC, today if you have questions about the selection, registration, protection, or enforcement of your mark.
If you would like to begin the trademark registration process, please submit a trademark intake form and Karana IP will contact you within 24 hours. 

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