We’ve received our US Trademark certificate today and thought we’d share it with you, along with a few thoughts.

Copyright protects the expression of your creativity, whereas Trademark protects a business’s identity or brand. Trademark ensures that consumers aren’t duped into buying from a competitor while believing they are buying from you or your clients. Trademarking should be part of any branding project. Trademarking is done on a geographical and sectorial basis – this means you will need to apply for trademark in every country where you wish to be covered.

What should you trademark?

In a nutshell, any element that constitutes a branding package; this could be your client’s business name (remember names aren’t protected by copyright), logos (which are also protected by copyright law, but to a more narrow extend that only covers the expression of the designer’s creativity), sounds or colors (think about the Coca-Cola red). PlagiarismToday explains very well the difference between Copyright and Trademark.

Do you need to be a lawyer to Trademark your client’s brand

No. I’m a web designer and went through the TM application myself, online. You can too. I would actually like to encourage you to visit uspto.gov and go through the process of filing a Trademark Online from here. You can always cancel before submitting your credit card details, but going through the process will help you understand how trademarking works.

Useful Trademark Resources

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Online US TM application
Trademarkia
PlagiarismToday

Please share your Trademarking questions and experiences with us in the comment section, and remember to upload your TM certificates to Myows as supporting documents with the Logos you create.