Federal Trademark Applications’ Drawing Requirement Explained For Entrepreneurs

  1. Trademark Law Blog - Mark Description In USPTO Applications

During the trademark application process, entrepreneurs, technology startups, and other brand-owners seeking federal trademark registration through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may be required to submit a drawing of the trademark with their federal trademark application documents.

Drawing Requirements Brand Names In US Trademark Application Process

The drawing, also known as a “mark drawing” or “representation of a mark,” is a clear depiction of the mark for which an applicant seeks federal registration. Every application must include a drawing of the mark, either in standard characters (all-text mark with no particular font style, size, or color) or in special form (design, graphics, logos, and/or color).

The USPTO uses the drawing to file an applicant’s mark in the USPTO search records, to publish marks in the Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG), and to print on registration certificates.

For brand names seeking trademark registration on the USPTO without a logo, the drawing will essentially be the typed out characters of the mark. For example, in a trademark application for the mark: PEPSI, the drawing will simply be P-E-P-S-I, a 5 character term.

Drawing Requirements When Registering a Logo

Example: Artwork showing Apple® logo filed as drawing in USPTO Federal Trademark Application

On the other hand, if a company wishes to trademark, for example, the Apple Logo (see image), the drawing will be a high resolution black and white image of the art files depicting the logo, in pdf form, with nothing else in the image.

This requirement is most relevant, and critically important, when applying to register a logo. The mark drawing must precisely match the logo and its graphic components that an applicant seeks to protect, and should depict . The mark drawing should be submitted in black and white, unless an applicant wishes to claim a logo’s colors as protected elements of the mark. (Note: including a “color claim” when applying to register a logo affords federal trademark protection only to the logo as it is used with the claimed colors.)

Applicants for federal trademark registration should take care not to confuse the drawing requirement with the “specimen” portion of an application. Specimens are submitted to show use of the mark in commerce in connection with the applied-for goods and services. For example, proof-of-use specimens may include screen-captures of an applicant’s website or images of an applicant’s goods being sold at an event. Unlike the drawing of a mark, specimens should include contextual elements of a mark’s actual use in the marketplace.

Of the myriad branding considerations raised during the application process, the drawing requirement is simpler than most. However, incorrect drawing submissions could cause the USPTO examiner to issue an Office Action, responding to which might increase an applicant’s legal fees and delay registration of the mark. As such, applicants for federal trademark registration should always conduct due diligence and have a solid understanding of the relevant requirements prior to filing an application.

David N. Sharifi, Esq.Author: David N. Sharifi, Esq. is a Los Angeles based intellectual property attorney and technology startup consultant with focuses in entertainment law, emerging technologies, federal trademark registration, and the “Internet of Things”. David has been recognized as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Attorneys in Digital Media and E-Commerce Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Office: Ph: 310-751-0181; david@latml.com.

The content above is a discussion of legal issues and general information; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such without seeking professional legal counsel. Reading the content above does not create an attorney-client relationship. All trademarks are the property of L.A. Tech & Media Law Firm or their respective owners. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.



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