How To Trademark A Drawing?

How To Trademark A Drawing

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In the creative world, a unique drawing can be a powerful element of your brand identity. Trademarking your drawing is an essential step to protect your creative work and ensure that it remains exclusively yours.

Here’s how to trademark a drawing.

Why Trademark Your Drawing?

Trademarking your drawing grants you the exclusive right to use it in connection with your products or services. This legal protection helps prevent others from using a similar drawing that could cause confusion among your customers. For example, if you create a distinctive logo for your clothing brand, trademarking it ensures that no other brand can legally use a similar drawing for their products, safeguarding your brand identity.

By trademarking your drawing, you ensure that you have exclusive rights to use it in commerce. This exclusivity is vital in a competitive market where brand differentiation is key. For instance, the iconic Nike “Swoosh” logo is trademarked, ensuring that no other company can use a similar design, which helps maintain a strong and unique brand identity.

A registered trademark adds significant value to your brand. It is a tangible asset that enhances your overall business worth. This can be particularly important if you plan to license your drawing, sell your business, or seek investment. A trademarked drawing adds credibility and can attract potential investors or partners.

Trademarking your drawing acts as a deterrent to others who might consider using a similar design. When other businesses see that your drawing is trademarked, they are less likely to use a similar drawing, knowing it could lead to legal repercussions. This helps protect your brand from infringement and maintains its uniqueness.

Registering a trademark for your drawing demonstrates professionalism and a serious commitment to your brand. It shows that you are dedicated to protecting your creative work, which can enhance your reputation and build trust with your customers, partners, and investors.


Rebranding can be a costly and time-consuming process. By trademarking your drawing early on, you can avoid the potential expenses associated with rebranding if another business claims your drawing or a similar one. This foresight can save you significant time and money in the long run.

If you plan to expand your business, having a trademark provides legal protection in other areas as well. Whether you’re launching new products, entering new markets, or creating a franchise, a trademark ensures your drawing is protected across various platforms and products.

How to Trademark a Drawing

Trademarking a drawing involves several steps. Each step is crucial to ensure that your application is successful and that your drawing is adequately protected.

Step 1: Decide How to File

Before starting the trademarking process, decide how you want to file your application. You have three main options:

Direct Filing with USPTO

File directly with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This option is the most cost-effective but requires you to handle all aspects of the application yourself.

Online Legal Services

Use online legal services that specialize in trademark registrations. These websites can simplify the process and ensure that your application is correctly filed.

Hiring a Trademark Attorney

Hire a trademark attorney to handle the process for you. This option is the most expensive but provides expert guidance and increases the likelihood of a successful application.

Step 2: Review the Current Fee Schedule

The USPTO updates its fee schedule periodically. Before submitting your application, review the current fees to understand the costs involved. Being aware of the fees upfront helps you budget for the trademarking process and avoid surprises.

Step 3: Conduct a Thorough Search

Conduct a search in the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to ensure that no similar trademarks are already registered. This step is crucial to avoid potential legal issues and application rejection.

Step 4: Prepare Your Application

File your trademark application through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Here’s what you’ll need to include in your application:

  • Statement of Use: A declaration that you are using the drawing in commerce.
  • Examples of Use: Evidence showing that you are using the drawing, such as product labels, packaging, or promotional materials.
  • Trademark Drawing: A visual representation of the trademark. This should be a clear and precise image of your drawing as it appears on your product or marketing materials.
  • Specimen of Use: A sample showing how the trademark is used in the marketplace. This could be a label, packaging, or an advertisement.
  • Filing Fee: The cost associated with filing your application.

Step 5: Monitor and Enforce Your Trademark

Once you have successfully trademarked your drawing, it is essential to actively monitor and enforce your trademark rights.

Regularly check the marketplace and online platforms to ensure that no one is using your trademarked drawing without permission. Set up alerts and periodically review relevant sites to stay informed about potential infringements.

Costs of Trademarking a Drawing

The cost to trademark a drawing varies depending on the filing option you choose. Here are the three basic options provided by the USPTO:

Direct Filing Fees

When you file directly with the USPTO’s TEAS, you can choose from three basic options:


  • Basic Filing Fee: $250 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: $125 for each additional class.
  • Email Communications: Required for further communications.

TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF)

  • Basic Filing Fee: $275 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: $125 for each additional class (payable later).
  • Email Communications: Required for further communications.

TEAS Regular

  • Basic Filing Fee: $350 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: Fees apply for adding classes of goods and services.

Additional Costs

Beyond the basic filing fees, you might incur additional costs if you hire a trademark attorney or use a legal website for assistance. These costs can vary widely, so choose the option that best fits your budget and needs.

Renewal and Maintenance of Your Trademark

Trademarks are not indefinite and must be renewed periodically to maintain their legal protection. The USPTO requires you to file maintenance documents at specific intervals to keep your trademark registration active. Here are the key renewal periods:

  • Between the 5th and 6th Year: File a Declaration of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse.
  • Between the 9th and 10th Year: File a Combined Declaration of Continued Use and Application for Renewal.
  • Every 10 Years Thereafter: Continue to file a Combined Declaration of Continued Use and Application for Renewal.

Failure to file these maintenance documents can result in the cancellation of your trademark registration.

Famous Trademarked Drawings

Trademarked drawings are iconic visuals that are integral to the identity and branding of a product, company, or character. These drawings are legally protected to prevent unauthorized use, ensuring that their unique appeal remains exclusive to the brand they represent. Here are some examples of famous trademarked drawings that have become globally recognized symbols.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is one of the most iconic and recognizable characters in the world. The drawing features a cartoon mouse with large, round ears, red shorts, white gloves, and yellow shoes. Created in 1928, Mickey Mouse has become the cornerstone of Disney’s brand identity.

Coca-Cola Contour Bottle

The contour bottle, also known as the “hobble-skirt” bottle, was designed in 1915. The drawing of the bottle features its distinct shape, which resembles a curved hourglass with a fluted middle.

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is a cartoon character depicted as a white Japanese Bobtail cat with a red bow and no mouth. The drawing features simple, minimalist lines and a cute, appealing expression.

Playboy Bunny Logo

The Playboy Bunny logo features the silhouette of a rabbit wearing a bow tie. The drawing is simple yet instantly recognizable, often rendered in black and white.

Lacoste Crocodile

The Lacoste Crocodile is a drawing of a green crocodile with its mouth open, often depicted on a white background. The drawing is detailed yet stylized, with a distinctive shape that is easy to recognize.

Twitter Bird

The Twitter Bird, also known as “Larry the Bird,” is a drawing of a simplified, blue bird in flight. The design features clean lines and a minimalist style, with the bird often depicted facing upwards.

Apple Logo

The Apple logo is a drawing of an apple with a bite taken out of the right side. The design is sleek and minimalist, often rendered in a monochrome color scheme.

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Trademarking your drawing is a vital step in protecting your brand and ensuring its uniqueness in the marketplace. By understanding the benefits, following the correct steps, and being prepared to enforce your trademark rights, you can ensure that your drawing remains protected and exclusively yours. Whether you choose to file directly, use online legal services, or hire an attorney, being informed about the trademarking process and its associated costs will help you make the best decision for your business. Take the necessary steps today to trademark your drawing and secure your place in the competitive market. If you have any questions or need assistance with trademarking your drawing, our team of experts is here to help.