What’s in a Font

Should a trademark registration be in a particular font? Usually, you should register a trademark in no particular font because it provides broader rights and will live on even if you change the font later, but some fonts are so tightly tied to a trademark that a registration in a particular font makes sense.

The question you should ask yourself is this: If a competitor chooses a different word in your same font, could your customers be confused?

What do I mean by that?

CocaCola® regularly goes after and shuts down people who try to sell these shirts because just the font is enough to make people think about CocaCola.

Cocaine

Here’s another example: What if I were to open a housewares store with this as my trademark?

Crate&Barrel

Helvetica is so closely tied to Crate&Barrel, that it looks like this brand was created just to confuse people.

Axio®, the company who came up with my word mark and logo, actually created their own font.* Here’s their lovely trademark:

Axio

They would rightly be upset if someone else started using this for a different design firm:

AKIC

So, if the font you use is that strong and that important to your branding you might want to consider registering the trademark in a particular font.

 

*Axio created an entire alphabet for the font used in their trademark. The font itself can be protected by registering the copyright. That won’t protect the brand, but it will protect them from having other people use the font without a license.

 

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