Absolutely. However, if your logo includes any words, you should register your business logo and word mark separately. Typically, if words are included in the design, you don’t want to get stuck with the exact positioning of the word and design elements.
Business Logo and Word Mark
Unless you plan on using your logo’s exact depiction in all your uses and for the indefinite future, you should register the logo and words separately. A name and logo together is called a design plus words trademark. Trademarks filed as design plus words must use that exact combination in relation to all its goods/services. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your trademark rights upon renewal, and a new filing of any new design will be required. To avert this, it’s customary that you file your name and logo separately. That way you can use the word phrase in any style you choose without forfeiting your rights. For example, McDonald’s owns a trademark on the name “McDonald’s” as well as the logo of the golden arches. This way it can use them interchangeably and in any combination.
Protecting Design Elements
Design elements of a trademark are often extremely important to protect. Consumers can come to recognize your brand by a simple mark, artistic design, or symbol without any words at all. As a result, it’s important to protect that design separate from your name so that others in the industry cannot use something similar that would cause confusion and result in the loss of the goodwill you’ve created with your consumers.
For example, Timberland owns the trademark for the name TIMBERLAND, but they also own a trademark for their circle tree logo. This separate registration prevents other competitors in similar industries from adopting a tree design as their logo. You should consider trademarking your business logo if the design elements add some type of source significance and you want to prevent others from using a similar design.
I Can’t Afford Two Trademarks
So should I trademark my logo? Well, it depends. If you don’t have the capital available to afford both the word mark and logo, it’s preferable to obtain the word mark first or otherwise known as the standard character mark. A standard character mark will secure your exclusive rights to use the name in relation to your goods/services without any particular claim to style, design, or font. This, in turn, will allow you to use any design when displaying your mark and will prevent any other similar word marks in similar industries from obtaining registration.
So the short answer to, “Should I trademark my business logo?”, is yes, if important elements of your mark are not adequately protected via a word mark.