For those the you analysis this who room not native Maryland, ours state has a distinctive flag and also people are proud of the flag. Not unsurprisingly, fairly a few businesses who room proud of your state, and not just Marylanders, want to incorporate your state flag or other flags right into a visual trademark. I gain quite a couple of calls questioning to use and register various flags or flag facets in a trademark.

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Trademark regulation specifically forbids the usage of the United claims flag, and also the flag of any type of state, municipality, or locality, or the flags of international countries, together the communication of any kind of trademark.

The primary worry for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is to protect against the likelihood of confusion in the psychic of a consumer. If a trademark uses identifiable facets of a flag, then a consumer might think the the federal government represented by the flag is the resource of the items or solutions or endorses the goods or services. Understandably, that false feeling of resource or endorsement can’t be permitted.

But what around all those logos that have flags or facets of flags in castle already? Well, there space two things. First, that logo design may no be, and likely is not, registered as a trademark.

Second, while you can’t use the entire flag or a combination of the flag and other references to the country, state, or city symbolized through the flag, you have the right to use or hint in ~ the flag in the following ways:

The flag architecture is offered to form a letter, number, or design.The flag is substantially obscured by native or designs. The crucial here is “substantially.” The difficulty might be exactly how much is substantial? I would certainly be shooting for at the very least forty percent or more obscured.The design is no in a shape normally seen in flags. A an excellent example could be photo of the continental United says with one American Flag theme favor this example:


The flag design appears in a shade different indigenous that usually used in the nationwide flag. However, simply an altering a present flag from shade to black and also white may not be sufficient if every one of the other facets of a flag room present. A significant feature of the flag is absent or changed. Likewise be mindful, the while some state flags have actually a comb or cloak of eight present, just removing that crest might not it is in enough.

If you make your logo design with the above factors in mind, you might still properly have your trademark registered. However, the is not guaranteed in any way. Remember, also if your logo doesn’t look prefer the flag that does not average that part other an innovative person has actually not formerly registered a comparable logo. Constantly do a trademark clearance find first.

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However, no all expect is lost. Just due to the fact that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office might not register the logo design as a trademark, the does not average you cannot usage the logo design in her business. The limit is the a country, state, municipality, or the entity represented by the flag deserve to request that you protect against using the logo and they could even sue girlfriend in court. That is every a issue of risk and whether you room willing come take that risk.

Before deciding come include facets that look favor a certain flag in your logo, be sure that you check with a trademark lawyer to make certain what you’re act is no going to reason a problem. Including a flag is a quick means to get your logo design rejected together a trademark, and also it is likewise a quick way to lose money. Not only would you shed your application fee come the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, friend may lose other money, such as the money spent on designers and also printers.