Business Owner’s Guide to Trademarking Your Logo

Business_Owners_Guide_to_Trademarking_Your_Logo-blog-imageOnce you’ve chosen a logo for your business, product, or service, it will be beneficial to secure the trademark rights to that logo. A trademark is a symbol, design, phrase, or other device used by a person or an entity to distinguish itself in the marketplace. A trademark is your brand, so it will be important to protect that brand from competitors.

The trademarking process isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming and quite frustrating. It is always best to solicit the help of a trademark attorney when navigating these waters. Here is an idea of what you can expect when trademarking your logo in the United States:

Conduct a Trademark Search

Before you start the process, it will be necessary to ensure that no one else is using your logo (or a logo that is extremely similar to yours). In order to do this, a trademark search must be executed.  If the logo already exists, you could be infringing on the copyright to that design. While you can conduct your own search, it is always recommended to hire an attorney who has a firm understanding of how the search criteria works, and who has the expertise to analyze the results of the search.

Securing the Trademark

Once your search is complete and you’ve determined that no one else is currently using your logo, you can move on to securing the trademark for yourself. There are several ways that you can do this. First, you can simply begin using your logo in advertising and printed materials. However, the use of your logo only grants you limited rights.

If you’re only planning on using your logo within a single state, you can apply for a trademark with the office of the Secretary of State in that particular state or commonwealth. If you use this method, you won’t be protected if you expand your business, however.

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Guía de marca para su logotipo

Business_Owners_Guide_to_Trademarking_Your_Logo-blog-imageUna vez que haya elegido un logotipo para su negocio, producto o servicio, que será beneficioso para asegurar los derechos de marca a ese logotipo. Una marca es un símbolo, diseño, frase, u otro dispositivo usado por una persona o una entidad de distinguirse en el mercado. Una marca es su marca de fábrica, por lo que será importante proteger esa marca de los competidores.

El proceso trademarking no es difícil, pero puede llevar mucho tiempo y muy frustrante. Siempre es mejor para solicitar la ayuda de un abogado de marcas al navegar por estas aguas. He aquí una idea de lo que puede esperar cuando trademarking su logotipo en los Estados Unidos:
Llevar a cabo una búsqueda de marcas

Antes de comenzar el proceso, será necesario asegurarse de que nadie más está usando su logotipo (o un logotipo que es muy similar a la suya). Con el fin de hacer esto, una búsqueda de marcas debe ser ejecutado. Si el logotipo ya existe, podría estar infringiendo los derechos de autor a ese diseño. Si bien se puede llevar a cabo su propia búsqueda, siempre es recomendable contratar a un abogado que tiene una firme comprensión de cómo funciona el criterio de búsqueda, y que tiene la experiencia necesaria para analizar los resultados de la búsqueda.
Asegurar la marca

Una vez finalizada la búsqueda y que ha determinado que ninguna otra persona está utilizando su logotipo, puede pasar a fijar la marca por sí mismo. Hay varias maneras que usted puede hacer esto. En primer lugar, puede simplemente comenzar a utilizar su logotipo en la publicidad y los materiales impresos. Sin embargo, el uso de su logotipo sólo le otorga derechos limitados.

Si sólo está planeando sobre el uso de su logotipo dentro de un mismo estado, puede solicitar una marca con la oficina de la Secretaría de Estado en ese estado libre asociado o particular. Si se utiliza este método, no estará protegido si expande su negocio, sin embargo.

Con el fin de garantizar los derechos nacionales de marcas a su logotipo y garantizar la máxima protección, debe presentar una solicitud ante la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos. Una vez aprobado, tendrá los derechos exclusivos para utilizar su logotipo en los 50 estados. Este proceso puede costar alrededor de $ 500 si lo hace usted mismo, o puede costar hasta $ 2,000 (o más) si se trabaja con un abogado.
Configurar un reloj de la marca

Una vez que haya pasado por los problemas y gastos de protección de su marca registrada, usted quiere estar seguro de que se está protegiendo esa marca. Puede configurar un reloj de marca a través de un sitio web de terceros recomendado por su abogado de marcas. Un reloj marca comercial le avisará cuando alguien comienza a utilizar un logotipo que es similar a la suya. Si alguien debe infringir su marca registrada, su abogado puede enviar una carta de cese y desista, o si es necesario, emprender acciones legales.
Una nota importante sobre trademarking

Si usted está interesado en la obtención de los derechos de marca para su logo, siempre busque el consejo de un abogado. El NetMen Corp no ofrece asesoramiento jurídico, ni somos expertos en el área de las marcas comerciales, reglas y regulaciones. La mejor manera de proteger su logotipo, su marca y su negocio, es trabajar con un profesional del Derecho con experiencia en este tipo de derecho de los negocios.

Create a Logo that Leaves a Lasting Impression

 

Is There a Difference Between Graphic Design and Brand Strategy?

Graphic Design Sketch of Light bulb for Branding IdeasBranding has become a hot marketing buzzword over the last decade, but despite the amount of attention paid to branding, it’s still a very misunderstood concept. A brand is not just one element. It is an entire compilation of values that make a company stand out among its competitors which is why brand strategy is such an important focus.

How Does Graphic Design Fit Into Branding?

Graphic design is just one element of branding. Your brand will express everything you provide to your customers. It should communicate the customer experience, your products and services, your values, and your unique personality. How your brand is perceived by consumers has a direct impact on your success. Your brand should be communicated clearly at every customer touchpoint in order to create consistency and to establish who you are in the marketplace.

Graphic design uses visual devices – illustrations, packaging, logos, fonts, etc. to create an identity. These devices are usually created with a set of guidelines that dictate how a company’s identity can be applied through different mediums. They outline approved color pallets, fonts, use of taglines, image sizes, and more. These guidelines will ensure that the corporate identity is cohesive, creating a recognizable brand.

How Branding Strategy Influences Your Graphic Design Process

Bringing brand strategy into graphic design is no easy task, but it’s one every business needs to achieve if they want to do branding right.

But first, we need to clear up a few things.

Companies are inundated with so many marketing buzzwords these days, they’re starting to confuse concepts with one another. Take branding, for instance. According to Entrepreneur.com, branding is “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”

That seems straightforward enough. But then what’s a brand? This definition says it’s a symbol. So, is it your logo? It also says it’s a design. So, is your brand your overall design?

A brand is not any individual element. It’s the entirety of your perceived corporate image. Sure, it includes your logo. Think of the iconic M for McDonalds. It’s instantly recognizable.

Your brand also includes your design elements, such as which colors represent your company. Think of the red and white motif for Coca Cola. But your brand is much more than that. Your brand also encompasses your company’s values, the emotional connections you have with clients and the services you provide.

Perhaps it’s just easy to confuse graphic design with brand strategy. What many people refer to when they confuse the two is called “brand identity.”

According to Investopedia, “A company’s brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers. The components of the brand (name, logo, tone, tagline, typeface) are created by the business to reflect the value the company is trying to bring to the market and to appeal to its customers.”

Here’s an easy way to look at it. Your brand is how people see your entire company, i.e. brand image. It encompasses your brand identity, the visual aspects your brand uses to stand out. Your brand identity includes your logo, which is just a single aspect of your brand identity but one that really needs to be memorable.

Now that we’ve cleared all that up, you may still be wondering: Why is it important for my company to understand these things?

You Need Strategic Branding Design

001It’s crucial for you to understand the differences between these concepts because you don’t want to mess up branding. For instance, you don’t want to hire a graphic designer who doesn’t take your brand identity and values into account and doesn’t tell you what they need to know to successfully do so.

You wouldn’t want to hire sales or customer service reps who don’t exemplify your brand values at every customer touchpoint. You don’t want your image to be inconsistent across audiences. You need a solid brand image that communicates your products and/or services, your USPs and your values in an instant.

To make a long story short, it’s crucial for you to understand the differences between these concepts because you’ll be spending a lot of money on branding, and you don’t want to waste the investment.

Let’s take a look at one of the earliest and most important stages of branding: figuring out the brand graphic design from scratch.

Graphic design uses visual devices. Illustrations, packaging, logos, fonts — basically everything visual that allows you to create a profile you can then own for your brand. The goal is that, when people see this color palette or that certain font style, their immediate brand recollection is your company.

Preferably, their emotional connection should be positive. This is more heavily influenced by the products, services and customer experience you provide. But the impressions your graphic design can give also make a difference.

Your brand identity should be developed with a set of design and branding strategy guidelines that dictate how your company’s identity should be used anywhere. For instance, there are guidelines on approved color palettes and fonts to use, when and where to use your company tagline, how big image sizes should be, etc.

The typical graphic design strategy of a brand identity includes:

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Each of these elements contributes to your brand identity. The logo is arguably the most important element. After all, it’s the single symbol people should instantly recognize and connect to your brand. It’s the singular identifiable marker of your business.

Since we’re talking about logos, let’s delve into how such elements play a role in your graphic design branding and identity online.

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