Does a Company Need to Trademark a Logo?
A companies logo is among the most valuable asset a business can possess. A logo helps customers recognise and identify the company and distinguish it from other competitors. A logo is one of the most common forms a trademark takes. Companies do not need to trademark their logo; simply just by using the logo in commerce, the company already has a trademark.
Logos often contain pictorial or a graphic element, this means the mark may be eligible for protection as both a trademark and copyright if it is an original work of authorship or otherwise meets the copyright requirements. Whether the company needs to register the mark or also seek protection as a copyright depends on many factors. Businesses should seek the advice and counsel of an attorney before proceeding.
Look for an identifying mark or name on the logo. If an image or design for a logo is copyrighted but not trademarked, it may contain a phrase that contains the word “copyright” followed by the year of copyright and the name of the copyright holder. It may also include a copyright symbol © and date of copyright followed by the name of the copyright holder.
Look for a registered trademark ® to determine whether the logo is trademarked. While the images used in a logo may be copyrighted by a designer, most companies register a logo as a trademark rather than copyright. In most cases, you will be looking for a trademark ownership and not a copyright one, for example with McDonald’s and it’s golden arches logo. The name of the company that owns the trademark for a logo will be included with the registered trademark symbol.
Here is some more information about copyright and trademark for a logo