Do you want to protect your logo, business name, or the name of your product, service, or signature program?
One way is to use IP (intellectual property) law, such as trademark law or copyright law, to get exclusive rights over your name or logo design.
But do you need a trademark or a copyright to protect your name or logo?
Names of a business, product, or service are usually protected under trademark law.
Trademarks are words, phrases, and symbols that are associated with the source of a product or service. If you are selling a product or service, or intend to, then you may have trademark rights over the names, phrases, and symbols you will use in marketing and advertising those products and services. You may also have trademark protections over logos, illustrations, and even sounds.
In the United States, you do receive a few automatic trademark protections but only in the states where you have made sales. If you want protection in the entire U.S., you need to register your trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
Copyright law does not protect a name, but it can protect a logo or other creative design.
Copyright protects an artistic expression that has been put into a tangible form, which can be electronic. The name of a business, product, or service usually isn’t long enough to qualify as an artistic expression. But, copyright law may protect aspects of the program itself, such as a workbook you hand out to participants at your event.
In the United States, you receive some automatic copyright protections when the artistic work is created. However, you cannot sue anyone who is copying you until you register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you register within three months of creation, you get additional benefits such as statutory damages.
Most businesses should evaluate whether they need to register trademarks or copyrights.
Registration is not for every business; it depends upon budget, goals, and the names/logos themselves. Some applications would never be granted and there are other strategies that would be more appropriate in those situations.