Does a figurative trademark have to include text?

Photo of Igor Demcak

Written by Igor Demcak

Founder & Trademark Attorney

No, a figurative trademark does not have to include text. Figurative trademarks, also known as logo trademarks or design marks, are visual representations that consist of graphical elements, images, shapes, or other design elements without specific wording or text.

Figurative trademarks rely on the visual representation itself to distinguish and identify the source of goods or services. These marks can be highly effective in creating a unique and recognizable brand identity without the use of text.

Examples of famous figurative trademarks include the Apple logo, Nike's swoosh, or the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star. These logos are instantly recognizable and associated with their respective brands, despite not containing any specific words.

It's important to note that while a figurative trademark does not require text, it can include text if desired. The inclusion of text within the logo can help reinforce the brand name or convey additional information. In such cases, the protection of the figurative trademark extends to both the visual elements and the accompanying text within the logo.

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