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Trademark myths: You need a logo

You have your own company. While you have done a fair amount of branding, you don't have an official logo. You figure that you don't have anything to trademark, as a result, because trademarks are just for logos. Is this true?

It's not, but it is a common myth. It is true that logos are one of the most commonly trademarked pieces of intellectual property in the United States. But you could still benefit from a trademark even if you do not have a logo for your company, and you never plan to get one.

Examples of other things that can be registered for a trademark include:

  • Words alone
  • Sounds
  • Smells
  • Designs
  • Container shapes
  • Domain names
  • Colors
  • Hashtags

Now, that doesn't mean that every example from each element of this list can be trademarked. It depends on the type of use and how strongly that element connects to your brand. If it's a big part of your branding and someone else may try to use it to trick your customers into buying their products, then you may be able to get a trademark.

In your case, maybe you do not have a logo, but you do have a corporate slogan. You could trademark that string of words. In a lot of ways, it operates just like a logo for you. When people see that slogan, they think first of your company and your products, and you may have an exclusive right to it.

Trademarks can be very helpful in many fields. Be sure you know when and how you can use them.

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