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A wordmark or word mark is a distinct text-only typographic treatment of the name of a product, service, company, organization, or institution which is used for purposes of identification and branding. A wordmark can be an actual word (e.g., Apple), a made-up name that reads like a word (e.g., Google), or an acronym, initialism, or a series of letters (e.g., IBM).

In many jurisdictions, such as the United States and European Union, [1] a wordmark may be registered as a trademark, making it a protected intellectual property. [2]

Unlike names and logos, trademarked wordmarks are generally not case-sensitive and are listed in uppercase by trademark registrars such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office, even if they are always cased in a certain way by the owner; this gives the trademark holder rights no matter how the wordmark is presented[ citation needed]. Some examples are shown in the sidebar.

In the United States, the legal term "word mark" refers only to the text, not to any graphical representation. [2]

In most cases, wordmarks cannot be copyrighted, as they do not reach the threshold of originality. [3]

Comparison with logos

Wordmarks and logos are the two most common types of brand marks.[ citation needed] Wordmarks, by definition, always contain the name of the product or company, whereas a logo might be a textless image only. For example, the Coca-Cola, Disney, and FedEx logos are graphical versions of those names, while the Starbucks logo contains no text.

A wordmark logo (also called a lettermark or a lettermark logo) is a type of logo, not a type of wordmark, which consists of just text set in a particular style, such as a typeface or color, without other graphical features.[ citation needed] For example, the SONY logo contains only the name in uppercase, set in a particular typeface. In some cases, such as Disney's logo, a custom or proprietary typeface is used.[ citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ "Trade mark definition". Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Harris, Daren (26 May 2023). "Word Mark vs. Design Mark". Northwest Registered Agent.
  3. ^ Wolfe, Zach (12 April 2021). "The originality requirement in copyright law". Five Minute Law.

Further reading