If you’ve applied or considered applying for a trademark you may be trying to figure out what the difference is between a word mark versus design mark.

Well, don’t fret because the difference is fairly easy to spot.

Word Mark:

A word mark, also commonly referred to as a standard character mark, applies to trademarks that are simply text. So there’s no kind of artwork or design element. It is just plain standard characters.  It’ll apply to things such as a business name, a product name, motto, or a slogan.  Anything that is plain words and plain standard characters.

Design Mark:

A design mark, on the other hand, is the opposite. It actually does encompass artwork or a design element. Hence, design mark. This will apply to things such as logos or stylized text. For instance, if your logo is your business name just with a fancy font, that is a design mark. Since you’re registering it with the design elements as apart of the trademark, that is what makes it a design mark.

Again, so if you want to register a trademark with just words, slogan or just your business name then that is a word mark. Versus if you want to register a trademark with a logo or something that contains particular design elements, it is a design mark.

Want to learn more about trademarks? Check out: Intellectual Property Rights Explained.