In part three of this series on trademarking a logo design we will look at trademarks and overseas laws, ownership of a trademarked logo and trademarking your name.
Trademarks And Overseas Laws
Unfortunately, the country that you trademarked your logo is the only country where it is applicable. If your goal is to get your logo trademarked around the world you will have to apply in every individual country. Don’t fret though! Once you’ve successfully had your logo trademarked in one country, it doesn’t matter which one, it will be much easier to get it approved elsewhere. It may take some time but if it’s important to you it’s definitely worth the effort especially if you plan on expanding your business overseas.
Ownership of a Trademarked Logo
Some people get confused regarding trademarks when they pay an artist or designer to physically make the logo. Who gets ownership? Is it shared? These questions are quite common but don’t worry that’s why we’re here. When you design a logo and have it commissioned by an artist the artist does own it for the time until you pay for the commission. Then it’s all yours. If you commission an artist and don’t pay then the artist will own your logo. It’s a way to protect artists from people looking to scam them for a free design. As long as you pay you’re in the clear and will have sole ownership.
Once your logo is trademarked you will have complete control of where your logo is placed. Be it on physical items that you’re selling, advertisements, social media images, in the window of your place of business, or on a sign. All placement is up to your preference and discretion. Amendments and updates will only be allowed through you. That doesn’t mean you can’t outsource and have an artist update or give suggestions on how to better the logo, but you will be the one who legally has to update the trademark.
Trademarking Your Name
Have you ever walked into a business named ‘John’s Autoshop’ or something similar? Chances are the business is trademarked using the owner’s name or perhaps a family business that started decades ago. It is legal to trademark your own name but it has to be for a business purpose only. Trademarking names can get a little murky because, like generic words, other people will have the same name as you. Say you open up a nail salon and want to call it ‘Jami’s Funky Nails’ or ‘Jami Vaughn’s Nail Salon’ the entirety of the name itself including the words after your actual name can be trademarked. But, if someone else named Jami Vaughn wanted to open up a fish and tackle store called ‘Jami Vaughn’s Fish and Bait Shop’ they are legally allowed to do so. They can trademark their shop name in the same way you can as long as it is not the exact same business nam
Think thoroughly before you decide to use your name for logo and branding. If you start a company under your first and last name and decide to sell or leave the company you won’t be able to reuse your name for any new business venture. Entrepenuers don’t build a company thinking they’ll eventually sell or want to start a new one but it happens. If you’re really adamant about using your name then go ahead and trademark it just keep in mind you won’t be able to use it professionally on any other logo afterwards the trademark is approved.