Trademarks in India can be registered in different forms like word mark, label, logo and device mark. One of the toughest decisions to make for one before registering a trademark is whether to register the mark as a word mark or as a logo.
This simplest of the three, the word mark refers to the brand name for example Reliance or Parle has trademarked only the word, it is known as a word mark. A word mark registers the word itself. Once a trademark is registered for a word mark, the applicant has the right to use and represent the word in any format or font which grants it wider protection including exclusive rights to the word as a whole and depict it in various formats regardless of its style for all the goods and services in respect of the mark.
A logo on the other hand gives one the rights in the combination of images, design and words taken together. For example, Apple, Mercedes etc. If your business logo is easily recognized by the customers, you would want to file a trademark for that logo.
The protection given to the words in a logo mark are limited when compared with the standard word marks since the rights in a logo are only valid as a whole. So if one wishes to register a particular designed appearance or a combination of stylized words and design, filing a trademark as a logo would be appropriate.
Logo Composite Mark
Usually a brand name of a business constitutes both of words and logos for example Levi’s has an elaborate logo composite mark, which includes even the position of its label on the back of its jeans. And the best way to protect the intellectual property in such cases would be to file the trademark as both as a word mark and as a logo. However, since filing multiple trademark applications is an expensive affair, it would be best to register the trademark as a word mark.
A separate trademark application for word as well as logo should be filed to attain the broadest protection. But it may not be very economical for startup businesses. Hence, it is advisable to file the trademark as a word mark, giving one the next broadest protection against infringers.