What Should Be Trademarked First, Your Name or Logo?

When it comes to trademarking your brand, one of the most common questions is whether you should trademark your name or your logo first. Both are important components of your brand, but which one should take priority in the trademark process? Let's explore the options.

First, it's important to understand the difference between a name and a logo in terms of trademark protection. A name is typically protected by a word or phrase mark, while a logo is protected by a design mark. While both provide legal protection for your brand, they have different strengths and limitations.

a man with his hands to his face in contemplation.

When it comes to trademarking your brand, one of the most common questions is whether you should trademark your name or your logo first. Both are important components of your brand, but which one should take priority in the trademark process? Let's explore the options.
First, it's important to understand the difference between a name and a logo in terms of trademark protection. A name is typically protected by a word or phrase mark, while a logo is protected by a design mark. While both provide legal protection for your brand, they have different strengths and limitations.

Trademarking Your Name

Traditionally, businesses have focused on trademarking their name first. Your name is often the primary way customers identify and refer to your business. Registering your name as a trademark helps protect your brand from competitors who may try to use a similar name.
When choosing a name to trademark, it's important to consider its distinctiveness. A unique and distinctive name is generally easier to protect with a trademark. Names that are descriptive or generic may be more difficult to trademark, as they don't have the same level of distinctiveness.

Trademarking Your Logo

Your logo is an important visual representation of your brand. It's often the first thing customers notice and can help create brand recognition and loyalty. Trademarking your logo is an important step in protecting your brand identity.
Logos can be protected as a design mark, which covers the visual aspects of the logo. This includes the colors, shapes, and other design elements that make up your logo. When trademarking your logo, it's important to make sure it's not too similar to other logos in your industry.

Which One Should You Trademark First?

The decision of whether to trademark your name or your logo first ultimately depends on your business and your branding strategy. However, there are a few factors to consider.
If you're just starting out and have not yet established a strong brand identity, it may make sense to focus on trademarking your name first. This will give you protection for your business name as you continue to build your brand.
On the other hand, if you already have a well-established logo and brand identity, it may make more sense to focus on trademarking your logo first. This will help protect your visual identity and ensure that competitors can't use a similar logo to confuse your customers.

Considerations Before Trademarking

Before you begin the trademarking process, there are a few important things to consider. First, make sure that the name or logo you want to trademark is not already in use by another business. Conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure that your name or logo is available for trademark registration.
Additionally, consider your budget and resources for the trademarking process. Trademark registration can be a time-consuming and expensive process, so make sure you're prepared to invest in protecting your brand.
Finally, remember that rebranding can be a major headache if you wait too long to trademark your name or logo. If you're already established in your industry and have a strong online presence with followers, it may be even more difficult to change your brand identity down the road. Protecting your brand with a trademark early on can help you avoid the headache of rebranding in the future.
Whether you choose to trademark your name or logo first depends on your business and branding strategy. However, it's important to consider the distinctiveness of your name or logo, your budget and resources for the trademarking process, and the potential headache of rebranding in the future. With careful consideration and planning, you can protect your brand identity with a trademark and set your business up for long-term success.

Have questions? Contact us to learn more about trademark registration or how we can help you with your trademarks.