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Posted on April 26, 2021
A word mark is simply typed in standard character format without regard to the font, style, size or color. In a trademark application for a word mark, you are essentially seeking registration of the wording (or lettering) without regard to its style, design, font or any graphic features. In other words, you are protecting the wording, and not the logo.
Trademark Registration of a word mark provides broader rights and basically protects the wording of the mark regardless of its style. Thus, applications for word marks must include a Standard Character Claim as the mark consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font, style, size or color.”
What is a design mark?
If you want to protect a graphic design or image with or without wording, such as a stylized logo, then you would apply for a design mark. A design mark application would be appropriate for a distinctive logo with particular graphics and/or stylized wording. Keep in mind that a registration of a design mark requires you to use the exact same design over the course of the next several years in order for you to maintain and renew your registration. Changing the design may warrant the filing of a new trademark application. A word mark registration, on the other hand, allows you to use the mark in several different designs so long as the wording remains the same.
Trademark in color or black-and-white?
If filing for a design mark, you’ll need to decide whether or not to claim color. If color is not claimed, you must file a black-and-white drawings of the mark, but your usage of the mark may be in any colors. If color is claimed, you must file a color version of the mark and the colors in your actual usage must exactly match those colors in the applied-for mark.
Uppercase vs. lowercase letters
In a trademark application for a standard character mark, it does not matter whether the letters are drawn in uppercase or lowercase letters. Historically, trademark applications for word marks that were filed on paper with the USPTO would show the word mark in ALLCAPS to indicate that the wording was sought to be registered, regardless of the upper/lower case of the letters.