Three Possible Formats for Trademark Identification
Standard Character Format – Word Mark
Without claim to any specific style, size, or color, and absent any design element, this format is used to register word(s), letter(s), number(s) or any combination thereof. Registering a mark in the standard character format will allow you to use it in any manner of presentation, and thus gives you broader rights with respect to your mark than with a stylized/design format registration.
The standard character format allows use of any letter and words in Latin characters, any numbers in Roman or Arabic numerals, and only common punctuation or diacritical marks. The USPTO has a list of acceptable letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and diacritical marks which can be found on its website.
If you file your standard character mark electronically, the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) will generate a drawing based on the information you enter on the form. If you choose to file on paper, you must use standard letter-sized paper and the representation of your mark must appear in the middle of the page. The page must also include the following information at the top: applicant’s name, correspondence address, and this statement: “The mark is presented in standard character format without claim to any particular font style, size or color.”
Stylized/Design Format – Design Mark
This format is appropriate if you would like to register a mark with a design element, including word(s) and/or letter(s) that have a particular style and appearance. If you seek to register a word(s) combined with a design element, you must represent both the word(s) and the design element as one image.
If the particular colors of your mark are important to your mark, you should register in the stylized/design format and submit a color image as part of your application. Also, if you do this, you must submit a “color claim” naming the color(s) and stating that the color(s) is a feature of the mark, and a separate statement describing the mark and stating where the color(s) appears in the mark.
If color is not important to you, you may submit a black and white image. If you later decide to use your mark in color, you may do so because submitting a black and white image will cover use of your mark in any color.
In order to file a mark in a stylized/design format electronically, you must upload an image of your mark into the TEAS form. The image of your mark must be in .jpg format and should have little to no white space surrounding the mark. Do not include the trademark, service mark or registration symbols (TM, SM, ®) with your mark. Your mark image should be in black and white, unless you want to claim color as a feature of your mark, in which case you should submit a color image.
If you want to file on paper, you must use standard letter-sized paper and include: 1) applicant’s name and correspondence address at the top of the drawing page and 2) the mark in its entirety in the middle of the page.
Sound marks can also be registered through the Trademark Electronic Application System, but must in an electronic file in .wav, .wmv, .wma, .mp3, .mpg, or .avi format and should not exceed 5MB in size. You must submit an audio reproduction of the sound mark you want to protect, which should contain only the mark itself, in order to supplement and clarify the description of your mark.