Is one of the more common questions asked to trademark attorneys. And the answer is, registering the stylization of your mark is a good way to expand the scope of protection for your mark.
Under Consideration’s Brand New Blog recently commented on the new design of the Sunny Delight logo to Sunny D. Two commentators said “I feel like a Fanta now” and “[i]t reminds me of Snapple’s brand for some reason – maybe it is the ‘S’ . . . .” While these comments do not necessarily demonstrate actual confusion between Sunny D and Fanta or Snapple, they do raise an important issue; namely, confusion as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement can occur from the stylization of terms even when the terms are different.
A federal registration for the standard character form of a term extends protection in the mark to all stylizations of the specific term only. But as the Sunny D comments show us, a similar stylization for different terms can also cause problems for trademark owners. Therefore, if you create a unique, stylization for the terms in your mark, consider seeking a federal registration for both the standard character and stylized form for the terms in the mark.