When filing a trademark application you or your attorney must choose between standard character format or a stylized/design format. A standard character trademark is basically just a word (aka wordmark) that functions as a trademark, and has no particular font, style, or color. This can be any combination of words, letters or numbers so long as there are no design elements included. In my practice this usually means we are trademarking the name or slogan of a new startup company. The following example shows our parent company name registered in standard character format:
A stylized trademark (aka logo, design mark, or special form mark) allows the registrant to claim font, style, size or color as actual features of the trademark. Images and graphic elements can also be included in the trademark and this type of registration provides a more specific scope of protection. In the next example, the Thomas Law Firm PLLC “T” Logo appears in blue and our company name appears in a specific black font with a particular arrangement of the words:
Consulting with an experienced trademark attorney can be helpful deciding which type of application to submit. If you can afford it, filing both applications will provide better trademark protection rather than just filing one or the other. We commonly file two applications at once, but if the client’s budget will only allow for one application, we generally recommend filing for the standard character trademark since it provides the broadest amount of protection. Contact us for a free phone consultation to discuss which option is best for you!