Registering a logo is also important

It is crucial not only to register your word mark but also your logo. If you want to take action against a competitor who uses a visual element that closely resembles your own logo, registering your logo as a trademark is essential.

Distinctiveness of a logo

Just like word marks, the law requires that logo marks possess distinctiveness. Without distinctiveness, your logo will not be eligible for registration.

Simple geometric figures

Case law indicates that logos consisting solely of simple geometric figures are often considered non-distinctive because they are too basic or elementary. Such logos cannot be protected as trademarks.

Deloitte’s green dot

For example, in July 2022, the trademark registration for Deloitte’s well-known green dot was refused. According to the European trademark office, this dot is considered a simple geometric figure that the public would not perceive as a trademark.

Logo Deloitte

Apple leaf

It has happened to other major brands as well. Earlier, the trademark registration for Apple’s standalone leaf was also rejected for the same reason. It was deemed non-distinctive by the European trademark office.

Where is the line drawn?

But where exactly is the line drawn? When is a logo considered too simple and basic to receive trademark protection? And which logo marks manage to meet the criteria? The line is not easily defined, but the examples below may provide some guidance.

Refused logo Apple

Logo examples


A question about registering your logo?

As you can see, it remains difficult to predict in advance whether a logo will “make it.” Fortunately, at Chiever, we have extensive experience and knowledge in this field, and we can provide you with valuable advice on the prospects of your logo. We will also guide you in making important choices regarding the registration process. For example, should you register it in color or black and white? Should you apply for registration of the logo together with the name or separately? Chiever can offer advice on these points and ensure the best protection for your logo or brand image.

Maria-Gemma Huijnen Senior Trademark Attorney (Partner) +31 (0)20 8204000

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