A trademark or logo can include an original font.For example, COCA-COLA (in a stylized font) is a famous registered trademark that includes an original font. Note that the COCA-COLA Company has registered COCA-COLA as a trademark with and without the stylized font. There are legal advantages to having registrations for a word trademark with and without a stylized font.
- An advantage to registering the COCA-COLA trademark with a stylized font is that copycat brands can be prevented from using the typeface in a trademark to sell goods and services.
- An advantage to registering the COCA-COLA trademark without a stylized font is that the trademark owner is granted rights to protect the text element of the trademark in any font. Another advantage to registering a trademark without a stylized font is that it grants a level of domain protection.
A key to including a font or stylized lettering in a trademark is originality of the font or stylized lettering. In addition to originality, other factors to consider when assessing whether to apply for USPTO registration of a trademark in a specific font or stylized letter are:
- How instrumental the font or stylized lettering is to the brand, and
- How long the specific font or stylized lettering will be used. Back to the example of COCA-COLA, the famous trademark in stylized script has been used by the company as a trademark since 1886. (U.S. Reg. No. 0022406).
By: Vanessa Kaster, Esq. LL.M.
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See also: Blog posts on use the TM & SM symbols on unregistered trademarks at: https://iplegalfreebies.wordpress.com/category/t-r-a-d-e-m-a-r-k/trademarks-tm-sm; USPTO (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office) resources at www.uspto.gov; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com