The appearance of a trademark is one of its most important aspects, and trademark applicants have an important choice to make when deciding what their mark will look like. There are three types of trademarks you can select from on a trademark application, and they are:
Standard Character Marks. Standard character marks are used for registering words, letters, numbers, or any combination of these, without the requirement that the mark be made in a certain font, size or design.
Stylized Marks. Stylized marks, which are sometimes referred to as special form marks, require that the words, letters, numbers, or any combination of these, be made in a certain font type, size, or stylization.
Design Marks. Design marks, which are also sometimes also referred to as special form marks, can include words, letters, numbers, or any combination of these, and a specific design. The design could be a background pattern, incorporation into a logo, or a symbol that includes the words, letters, numbers, or any combination of these.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Mark?
Trademark protection for standard character marks is generally broad in scope and typically covers anyone using the mark in any way. The downside to a standard character marks is that it lacks style, which could make the trademark somewhat forgettable in a consumer’s mind. Stylized mark registration offers less protection, as the registration applies only to the specific stylized format of the mark that the trademark application identifies. But, on the other hand, stylized marks tend to be visually unique and distinctive — and (hopefully!) unforgettable. Design marks are similar to stylized marks in that they are limited in the scope of protection that they offer, but design marks are often visually unique, distinctive, and memorable as well.
Generally, registration cannot be sought for a design mark that includes a standard character format as part of its design. Rather, the two must be registered separately and then used by the applicant in combination with one another, unless (1) the standard character format in the design is specifically part of the design, and (2) the trademark applicant intends to obtain trademark rights for the combined use.
Our Trademark Attorneys Can Help
One of our experienced trademark attorneys can help you decide which type of trademark is best for you, and will file and prosecute your trademark application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you have questions about choosing or applying for a trademark, visit Parsons & Goltry online at patentsavers.com, or call 480-991-3435.
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