A small business needs to protect its intellectual property, which includes its business name and logo. These items distinguish the business from the competition by generating brand recognition and a loyal customer base. Over time, your customers associate your logo with your company, as Nike has with its swoosh and McDonald's has with its arches. Generally speaking, you should apply for trademark registrations for your business name, logo, slogan and designs separately.
Keep It Separate
Keeping your logo and business name separate allows you to use either property on its own. Trademark protection only extends to the trademark registration as it's submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Federal trademark registration for your business name and logo together requires you to use them together at all times to have legal protection under federal law. Many circumstances, such as advertising or marketing strategies, necessitate the use of one element or the other. Keep them separate to simplify your business operations.
Only in rare instances would you want to change your company name. But you may decide to rebrand your logo to associate your name with new products. Registering your name and logo together would require a new registration for your business name if you overhauled your logo. The duplicate registration could cause problems during the trademark registration and delay your rebranding campaign.
The only true benefit you receive when registering your name and logo together is lowered cost. Each trademark registration costs approximately $300. By separately registering both elements, you are up to $600. You save money in the short term registering the items together. 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.
Registering both elements together places your intellectual property in a vulnerable position. Your competition could use your business name or logo separately for profit because both items are registered together for federal protection. You do not get legal protection for the items except as they appear on your trademark registration, which negates your ability to seek damages against the competition. You cannot sue infringers in federal court if you do not properly register your intellectual property with the USPTO.
Original article: Should You Trademark a Logo & Business Name Together?