Running a Logo Business with Trademark Laws

By | September 7, 2013

The law about trademarks keeps expanding as it tries to prevent harm and improve commerce. However, in some cases, this can make running your logo business rather difficult. The laws do not make it impossible, but you need to make sure that you are adequately prepared to run a logo business. One of the biggest challenges that artists run into is handling a logo business since logos typically become trademarked.

Understanding the basics to trademark law and the way that it impacts your business is essential. Otherwise, you may unintentionally devalue the logos you sell.

Legal Responsibilities as an Artist

One of the challenges is that the law does not put a responsibility on the artist’s shoulders to make sure that a logo is completely unlike any other. Artists just have to make sure that they don’t copy a registered trademark. What this means is that the logo might be unique and original, but it might not be something that can be trademarked. Your client though may be expecting you to make sure that the logo can be trademarked and used.

Unique but Unable to Trademark

Trademark laws are intended to make sure that all logos are unique. You need to make sure that the logo is not too general. Most of the time when a trademark is rejected for failure to comply, the reason is that the logo is not distinctive enough. In other words, it’s too general. This means that you need to make the logo even more unique without losing the simplicity that a logo requires.

For the most part, you won’t be able to use standard letters or general shapes. You must find ways to make them unique. Delta had to incorporate the triangle into the word “Delta,” and McDonald’s had to turn the classic M into a stylized form. Stylized and unique letters can do a great deal to separate a logo. Just remember to keep it simple enough that people can easily recognize it.

Add Value to Your Business by Researching

One of the ways that you can set your business apart from the competitors is to tell your clients that you will check to make sure that the logo can be trademarked. Unless you want to go through the hassle of trademarking it yourself, you should just tell them that you have researched the trademark, and they can trademark it themselves. Then give verification as only being good up until the date that you give. If you want to handle the trademarking process yourself, make sure to charge extra. You’ll have to pay a number of fees.

The benefit to this is that you can significantly increase your logo business by making it known that you adhere to trademarking laws and ensure that all of your logos can be trademarked. Ideally, you should charge between $150 and $250 more per logo so long as you do the research thoroughly. Otherwise, you may end up operating your logo business at more of a loss than you anticipated or intended.

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