Combined trademark is the trademark which contains both distinctive verbal elements (text, word) and image elements (graphics or logos).
In the USA, if you desire to register this kind of trademark, it is advised that you should file two trademark application; one to protect the image element and the other to protect the word element.
Proceeding with two trademark applications in the USA shall bring you some following advantages:
– First of all, you shall have broader and stronger protection for the trademark. In case a third party submit the trademark which has similar word to yours, but different image; his trademark could be granted protection if you only register a combined trademark. Because the third party’s trademark is still considered different from yours in entirety.
– Secondly, filing two applications for word-mark and device-mark shall provide greater flexibility to use your mark in different ways, whether it is presented in stylized text or in different designs. And at the same time, the device elements of your mark are still protected.
– Thirdly, your trademark shall be protected even if the logo is changed. Nowadays, it is common for companies to change the design of logo to keep their brand attractive in the market. In this case, if the companies only file combined mark application, their new logo shall not be protected. That’s because in the USA, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered; otherwise, the trademark may be subject to cancellation.
In conclusion, although proceeding two applications for combined trademark is not compulsory in the USA, we recommend you should consider this option to have broader and stronger protection for your trademark. Of course, the choice shall depend on the specific trademark, the budget, and the scope of protection you desire.