The term logo is derived from Greek as an abbreviation of the
term "logo type", meaning a "word and an
imprint". A logo is included in the definition of a trademark
used by businesses to distinguish their goods and services from the
businesses of others and to provide distinct recognition for such
businesses or even an individual.
A logo may be either pure graphic such as a symbol or icon or an
emblem or it may be a mixture of graphic or the name or
abbreviation of a business or an individual. Sometimes the logo can
also be the signature of a famous designer associated with the
business. Most designer brands particularly those associated with
fashion and luxury goods use a logo on their products for instant
A logo is registered in the same way and in the same process as
a normal word mark is registered. The first time that a logo was
applied for registration and got registered as a trademark was in
1876 for the word "bass" with a red triangle. Logos have
universal appeal and transcend across all cultures and languages.
For example, the Mercedes 3 pointed star in a circle is a
recognized logo for good quality cars and does not need any
language or explanation to flaunt its presence. Another widely
recognized logo is the Red Cross symbol which represents a
humanitarian service and is recognized throughout the world.
During the process of registration of logo, the rules of
comparison are less stringent than that for word marks. For
example, in the case of logos, the issue of deceptive similarity is
only based on the visual comparison of the logo sought to be
applied for the registration as compared to previously registered
logos. Other issues like phonetic similarity or conceptual
similarity have normally no place in such comparison. Colour and
colour schemes play an important part in creating distinctiveness
when it comes to registering of logos. Thus a distinctive colour
scheme or a distinctive way of representing a common geometric
graphic may be considered as a registerable logo. Words, on the
other hand, are always subject to the limitation of script,
phonetics and cultural variations.
Whereas, word marks are frequently subject to be redesigned over
the ages as part of the modernization process, most businesses are
reluctant to frequently redesign their logos. Even if modernizing
warrants such redesigning the modernized version of the logo will
have a common theme with the original version. In any case, all
versions need to be protected by registration under the Trademarks
Act of each of the countries in which the logo is intended to be
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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