When you file your logo in black and white, you may use your logo in any color. When you file your logo claiming color, you must use your logo in those colors.

A color claim is a limitation, which otherwise confers on the owner the exclusive right to use the mark in any color. Therefore, a color claim narrows down the protection for a mark and it is usually advisable to include such a claim only when a particular color is considered to be an important and essential feature of the mark.

In addition, a trademark logo in color is usually not the first trademark that should be filed. If an applicant files a first trademark, it’s best to file a word mark in standard characters. Such a trademark will allow the owner to use its trademark logo in any font and style. After a word mark is filed a trademark logo should be considered for filing. Of course, it may be filed at the same time as the word mark if finances allow.

Only after the word mark and the logo in black and white are protected, should a logo in color be protected if necessary.

What’s the bottom line? Unless color is an essential element of your trademark logo, don’t file in color.

Read our article for a full discussion about color claims.

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