Should protect your name or logo? Or both?
One of the most important things to decide when protecting a trademark is deciding what type of trademark to protect. While there are various types of trademarks, word trademarks and logos make up over 99% of all applications. So, the question is, how to choose between them.
As a general rule, word trademarks give stronger rights against third parties so in most cases our primary recommendation is protecting the word, i.e. the name of the product or service.
If the name is distinctive, you should in most cases give preference to that. If you have a logo that is also distinctive (e.g. like the Disney or Coca-Cola logo) you should protect that too. If the logo does not have any particularly distinctive elements, for example, if it merely consists of the word written in a particular common font, then protecting that adds relatively little to the protection of your mark.
If the name is non-distinctive, then the only option is to protect the logo as non-distinctive names are not eligible for registration.
Here are simple rules of thumb:
Distinctive name + unique/original logo –> protect both if resources allow. If you can afford only one, protect the name.
Distintive name + common/unoriginal logo –> protect the name.
Non-distinctive name + unique/original logo –> protect logo.
Non-distintive name + common/unoriginal logo –> consider rebranding.
Remember, if you choose “attorney review” for your application, we will recommend whether to protect your name, logo, or both.