Protect Your Trademark--Or Lose it
Trademarks are a wonderful tool that can protect a logo. Owning a trademark gives businesses the right to take legal action if they feel like someone else is piggybacking on their design. Nearly every company invests in a trademark to protect its logo and products. The automotive industry, for example, trademarks certain design aspects of their vehicles to prevent other companies from copying them. BMW's classic split grill and GMC's honeycomb grill are prime examples. Of course their logos are trademarked as well. However, if BMW didn't sue for infringement when another company copies their blue and white circle logo, BMW would lose their Trademark on the logo.
Though many people are not aware of it, owning a Trademark does not provide limitless protection. The law states that if a company does not actively protect their Trademark, they will lose it. This means that if other companies are using your logo, or something very close to it, you must actively protect it. First, you need to be aware of any Trademark infringement, and second, you must warn or take legal action against violators of your Trademark. Protecting a Trademark for a logo is important because people associate your brand and your company with your logo.
If you lose your Trademark, you may have to change your logo completely, which could be disastrous. Luckily, there are companies that offer Trademark monitoring services. Legalzoom.com, for example, will monitor a Trademark for infringement every month for a $175 annual fee, or weekly for $325. If time and resources are limited, it's worth every penny.