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Unregistered Trademark vs. Registered Trademark:

When you start your business and use your logo design to sell goods and/or services, you've officially become a trademark owner under U.S. trademark law. This is referred to as an unregistered trademark and is often accompanied by the "TM" symbol.

However, this only protects your logo in the geographic area in which you’re selling your goods and/or services. For business owners who are looking for stronger trademark rights, it's best to register your logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). With a registered trademark logo, your brand is legally protected nationwide.

$250.00 USD
15 Minutes
How to Trademark a Logo:

Four easy steps on how to trademark a business logo.


Create a unique logo design.

Design an original logo.

According to the USPTO, the most common rejection of trademarked logo applications is the "likelihood of confusion." Therefore, to improve your chances of approval, you'll want to design a unique logo that's inventive, memorable, and unlike anything in its current market.

Conduct a trademark search on the USPTO's website. This will help you identify logo designs that are similar to your own. For the best results, consider changing your design if competitors' logos have similar icons, slogans, fonts, and/or color palettes.

Use our free business logo generator to design an original logo that's marketable and distinctive.


Ensure your logo meets USPTO guidelines.

Ensure your logo meets USPTO guidelines.

The USPTO's guidelines state that a business's logo design should be "strong" and "inherently distinctive." Ultimately, you'll need to choose a logo that distinguishes your business from competitors in its industry. If your logo is similar to a competitor's registered logo, you'll run the risk of spending additional costs on defending the logo.

Incorporate inventive, arbitrary, and suggestive elements to your logo design. The USPTO is more likely to reject "generic" or "descriptive" logos. For instance, Apple's logo is an ordinary apple. This is too on-brand and generic, making the odds of registering a similar logo harder.

For this example, try unique designs of an apple, a different color palette, or include an image that is unexpected and unrelated to an apple.


Determine which class your goods and/or services fall under.

Determine which class your goods and/or services fall under.

Depending on the services and/or goods your business offers, you may need to trademark your logo in various industries or "classes." For instance, if you're a beauty brand that also stocks clothing, you'll need to categorize your logo in multiple class groups.

The USPTO currently has up to 45 classes. However, it's best to be prepared and know which classes your business falls under before starting the application process.

The USPTO's fees operate on a class basis. To register a logo with multiple class brackets, you will need to pay between $250.00 and $350.00 per class group.


Complete the registration form.


Go to the United State's Patent and Trademark Office's website.

Go to the United State's Patent and Trademark Office's website.

Navigate to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's home page and hover over "Trademarks" until a drop-down menu appears. Click on "Apply online" under the "Application process" heading.


Log in to the TEAS and TEASi page.

Log in to the TEAS and TEASi page.

On the applications page, click on "Log in to TEAS and TEASi page." Once you've been directed to the TEAS and TEASi page, review the information listed on the page and click on "Set up your account" to proceed to the MyUSPTO portal.

Click on "Create a account" and complete the registration form by providing your details. Once you've filled in the form, agree to the terms and conditions and click on "Next." You will receive an email to verify your account registration.


Click on "File an application."

Click on "File an application."

Once you've logged in to your MyUSPTO account, click on "File an application" to the left of the page. Then, click on "File a TEAS application." This should take you to the Trademark Electronic Application System's page.

Before proceeding to the next step, you'll be asked to complete the two-step authentication process. The USPTO will email a verification code to your registered email account. Enter this verification code in the designated slot and click on "Verify."


Select your filing method.

Select your filing method.

Read through the Trademark Electronic Application System page for a brief overview of the application form process. Before proceeding, choose between the TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard filing options. TEAS Plus is the more affordable option, with prices starting at $250.00 per class of goods or services.

You'll also be asked to state whether you're using an attorney to trademark your logo. A U.S.-licensed attorney is required if you're a foreign-domiciled owner or holder.


Complete the "Applicant Information" form.

Complete the "Applicant Information" form.

On the following page, complete the application form by providing the relevant information. This includes the trademark owner's full name, business address, entity type, and contact details. Once you've entered the relevant information, click on "Continue."


Upload an image of your "mark."

Upload an image of your "mark."

On the following page, read through the information about choosing the right mark type and follow the instructions listed. Once you've successfully uploaded and described your mark, click on "Continue."


Select your goods and/or services categories.

Select your goods and/or services categories.

On the next page, click on the "Add Goods/Services" button and select the goods and/or services that your business falls under. Once you've selected your categories, the next part of the "Bases for Filing" form will appear. Here, you'll need to identify the filing basis (or bases) that suit those specific goods or services.


Review your application.

Review your application.

On the second last page of the form, review your fee and payment options and complete the declaration form. Click on "Validate" and wait for any warning notifications. These will let you know if there are any errors in the form.

On the final page, review your application data to make sure that it is correct. Once you're ready to submit, click on the "Pay/Submit" button.


Complete the payment.

Complete the payment.

Complete the billing information form and finalize the payment. You can either pay via credit card, automated deposit, or electronic funds transfer. Once your payment has been made, you'll receive an email with a filing receipt that confirms your submission.


Submit a "specimen" to the USPTO.


Provide a commercial example of how your logo will be used.

Provide a commercial example of how your logo will be used.

If your logo will be "used in commerce" or filed under "intent to use," you will be required to submit an example of how you intend to use the logo. Business owners who plan on selling multiple products and/or services will need to provide a "specimen" for each category the logo is classed in.

For example, if you plan on printing your logo on uniforms, stationery, and product packaging, you'll need an example of each class. A specimen can be in the form of photographs, screen captures, scanned copies, or printouts of the physical specimen.

All registrants must submit a specimen between the fifth and sixth year after registration, then every 10 years thereafter.



Trademark protects the intellectual property that distinguishes a business's brand or goods and/or services. These may include a design, word, phrase, or symbols.

Copyright protects artistic, literary, or created works that are original and in a tangible format. These may include books, designs, movies, and music, to name a few.

Common Trademark Application Errors:

  • The wrong party was registered as the owner of the design.
  • The trademark is too descriptive, generic, and/or similar to a registered competitor.
  • The trademark incorporates commonly used elements, such as icons, fonts, and/or slogans.
  • The trademark includes the name of a person without permission.
  • The trademark application form included incorrect information.
  • The trademark was listed under the wrong goods and/or services category and/or class.
  • The specimen does not include the correct goods and/or services.

How to Copyright a Logo

Learn how to copyright a business logo with our step-by-step guide.


How much does it cost to trademark a logo in the U.S.?

This depends on the number of "class groups" your business falls under. It costs between $250.00 and $350.00 per class group, depending on the application system you use.

You typically trademark a logo. That said, to ensure stronger legal protection nationwide, it's best to trademark and copyright a logo.

How long does it take to trademark a logo in the USA?

There is no standard time frame for how long it will take to trademark your logo. In some cases, it can take up to 18 months to trademark a logo. The review process that follows your submission can take between five to six months to complete.

Once you use your logo "in commerce," it will automatically be trademarked for free. However, an unregistered trademark does not offer nationwide protection, and business owners can only use it in their geographical area and in their specific industry.

How long does a trademark last?

In the U.S., a federal trademark can last forever. However, it must be renewed every 10 years.

How do you check if a business logo is trademarked?

You can conduct a trademark search on the USPTO website.

Not everyone is required to have an attorney to register a trademark. However, this will be determined by your domicile address, which should always be kept up to date. All foreign-domiciled applicants must be represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney.

Can I trademark my logo with my state?

Yes. You can register your logo with your Secretary of State. This only protects your logo in your geographical and you will not receive the same protection as an official trademark with the USPTO.

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