Register a wordmark or a device mark?

When developing a new brand, one will often combine a wordmark with an original logo. The question then arises as to which is the best to register.

The widest scope of protection can often be obtained by registering both separately:

  • registering a wordmark will not offer you any protection against someone imitating your logo with a completely different brand name and vice versa;

  • registering a device mark in which a wordmark is incorporated may offer too limited protection for the wordmark itself, since a comparison with other trademarks that consist of a very similar wordmark with a completely different logo may be to your disadvantage.
  • the validity of the registration of the wordmark will not be compromised by changes to the logo (e.g., when modernising one’s logo);

Especially if one uses and registers one’s trademark in many countries, companies often want to choose between either the wordmark or the device mark for budgetary reasons.

Often, but depending on the specific circumstances of the case, it is advisable to first register the wordmark:

  • the wordmark is usually the most distinctive element of a trademark and therefore it will often be the priority to protect that element.

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