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I am currently trying to trademark a company name on the USPTO (The United States Patent and Trademark Office). However, I see an option to upload an image (logo) with my trademark application.

If I upload the logo, will the logo and name be trademarked? Can I save the cost of a trademark fee by doing them simultaneously?

Does doing them at the same time yield the same results as trademarking them separately?

Thanks

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  • Which is more important: the name or the logo? Would you want to be able to enforce the name by itself? Is the name relatively fanciful or tending more toward the suggestive or descriptive?
    – Upnorth
    Oct 7, 2017 at 5:33

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It is very common to register a trademark that is a combination of a distinctive name, word or phrase and a logo or other design for one filing fee. This raises the question of whether the design or the name/word may also be protected as "registered trademarks" when used separately, and the answer is no. A registered trademark is "considered as a whole" and if you want to protect parts of it, you would be required to apply separately for registration of those parts.

A registration of a "standard character" mark may give much broader protection for a distinctive name than if it is only registered in combination with something else. Contrarily, a valuable (recognizable) logo may be the most important element, regardless of whether the name is with it.

In the USA, registration of a trademark is completely optional for enforcement in state or federal courts, although registration gives additional valuable rights, including "national preemption".

So, in theory, one could register a combination word-mark and design and then enforce the design (alone) or the word-mark (alone) outside of the registered rights (e.g., national preemption), and even place (tm) on it, but not ® (circle R), if it is not federally registered as shown.

There are numerous gray areas in most aspects of trademark rules for registration, let alone enforcement, often tied to subjective evaluation of "distinctiveness" or "related fields" that may "create a likelihood of confusion" among reasonable consumers in that market.

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Small businesses must safeguard their intellectual property, which includes their company name and logo. These goods set the company apart from the competitors by creating brand awareness and a devoted consumer base. Customers will link your logo with your brand over time, just as Nike's swoosh and McDonald's arches have. In general, you should file separate trademark applications for your company name, logo, tagline, and designs.

Separate the two

You can utilise either property on its own if you keep your logo and business name separate. The trademark registration that is submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the sole thing that is protected. If you register a federal trademark for your company name and logo, you must use them together at all times to be protected under federal law. Many situations, such as advertising or marketing initiatives, need the usage of one or both elements. Separate them to make your business operations easier.

Changing Logos

Only in exceptional circumstances would you wish to change the name of your organisation. However, you may choose to rebrand your logo in order to link your name to new items. If you revamped your logo after registering your name and logo together, you'd have to register your business name again. Duplicate registrations might cause issues with trademark registration and cause your rebranding campaign to be delayed.

Costs

The only real advantage of registering your name and logo together is the cost savings. Each trademark registration will set you back around $300. You can save up to $600 by registering both elements individually. In the short run, registering the items together saves you money. In the long term, you pay more when you rebrand your products or change your business name. Spend more now so you don't end up regretting it later. For a better understanding of cost, contact trademarking lawyers.

Considerations

Registering both pieces at the same time puts your intellectual property at risk. Because both assets are registered together for federal protection, your competitors could profit from using your business name or logo separately. You don't obtain legal protection for these things until they appear on your trademark registration, which means you can't sue the competition for damages. If you do not properly register your intellectual property with the USPTO, you will be unable to sue infringers in federal court.

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    Are you associated with or affiliated to the law firm you've linked as ...if you mention your product, website, etc. in your question or answer, you must disclose your affiliation in your post?
    – user35069
    May 24, 2022 at 20:54
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    "* The trademark registration that is submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the sole thing that is protected.*" Not true, use in commerce offers some protection even in the absence of registration. Registration secures some additional rights. May 25, 2022 at 5:15
  • Some countries have "first registrant" rules (Like Germany, where you can steal a trademark by registering it out under someone that did forget to do that), others have "Usage is protection, registering is MORE protection" (like the US)
    – Trish
    May 25, 2022 at 9:15

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