A logo is an image or a mark that identifies something. If you need a logo design for a business you most likely also thought about trademark registration at some point. In the United States the Patent and Trademark Office handles registrations. The process is available online and includes outlined procedures that you should read through before deciding whether you want to continue with registration. The site also has information to help you determine whether you want to employ the services of a lawyer. As you’d expect, there are some pros and cons to registering.
- Legal Recourse. Registration provides an extra level of legal defense against copying infringements if a case arises, although unregistered trademarks do have legal standing in court. Winning a case may require proving that you used the logo, as well as when you began using it. This information is easier to verify with a registered logo. The process of registration firmly establishes a dateline and involves searching previous registrations to ensure that your logo is original.
- Deterrent. Registration is more likely to deter copying.
- Fees. Fees are comparatively low but you might still decide against registering depending on the size of the budget involved, and the importance you give to winning potential cases. If chances are low for incidents of copying then the degree of protection offered to unregistered marks might make the gamble worthwhile. Intentional trademark copying most often afflicts businesses with large markets. If you decide against registering your logo keep evidence of its use as insurance.
- Complications. If you plan to register the mark without legal assistance invest the time needed to ensure it’s done correctly or else you may end up spending even more money than you would spend on legal fees.