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If your business is launching an app, it is vital to stand out from the crowd and build a powerful brand. Having a logo is a useful way of doing this. However, having a logo and boosting your brand raises questions about securing those assets into the future. Protecting your logo through intellectual property (IP) registrations is an essential element of this. This article will explore the value of branding, how to protect a logo with trade marks, and how to ward off any competitors wanting that logo into the future.

The Value of Branding

A range of factors go into a successful app, and the actual content or substance of the app is not the full story. In a busy app marketplace, you will need to consider what will help yours stand out.  When launching your app, think about how you can best establish a trusted brand for your business. Your logo, along with your business name, are the most important parts of your branding. 

When thinking about an effective logo, they tend to be unique and easy on the eye. Eventually, you want it to be instantly recognisable and synonymous with your app. In a perfect world, your logo would represent your business’s features and values and the app itself. 

Some of the world’s most effective app logos are simple, visual representations which speak for themselves: think about Airbnb, Uber or Apple. The simpler the logo, the easier it is to remember. Most famous apps have outstanding logos that reinforce the value of the app itself. 

Given that your logo is crucial to your brand’s long-term success, it is essential to consider your IP protection options.

Protecting That Value With Trade Marks

When creating a logo, you can then register it as a trade mark. You can register a trade mark for any sign that you use to distinguish your brand from other businesses. A logo is a key way you will be looking to do this. Note that a trade mark does not have to be a logo – it could also be a business name or slogan. 

Registering your app’s logo as a trade mark will give you the exclusive rights to use that logo and distinguish your app’s brand from competitors using that logo. Two key benefits include the ability to secure your logo from others, and the long-term creation of value through a new IP asset.

Securing Your Logo From Others 

The key advantage of registering your logo as a trade mark is that doing so gives your business the exclusive right to publish, licence or otherwise use the logo commercially.

If a competitor or anyone else (such as a counterfeiter) attempts to use your logo, you can legally enforce your IP rights by taking action against that infringer. For instance, you can send a formal letter notifying the person of your trade mark and IP rights, outlining the infringement and demanding that they immediately stop using your logo.

Creating an Asset

Registering your logo as a trade mark early on also creates a potentially valuable IP asset. Down the line, you have the option of licensing or assigning the logo for financial gain. 

Additionally, registering your trade mark can attract investors who will feel secure that the asset is protected. You can only usually protect a logo by registering it as a trade mark. For a registered trade mark to encourage investment, it must be owned or licensed to the entity which your investors are investing in. This is important to note if you originally owned the logo as an individual, and want to change your business structure into a company. You may need to ensure that you transfer the trade mark rights to your company. 

Key Takeaways

Your New Zealand app should almost always have a logo that is protected with a trade mark. Doing so has the advantage of securing your brand, protecting your business from competitors who may want to use that logo in the future, and ultimately building value as you grow the app and scale your business. IP protections are an essential tool in securing the brand value of your app. If you have any further questions about how to protect your app or business’ logo, contact LegalVision’s IP lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.


How do I protect my logo?

In New Zealand, as with many other countries, trade marks are used to protect logos and similar kinds of distinguishing IP.

How do I check if someone else is using a logo that I would like to use?

You can use the Trade Mark Check tool to check if anybody has registered a logo (or name, slogan, or image) that you want to use.

What happens if someone else has a very similar logo to mine?

If they have registered it as a trade mark, you may need a different logo, as they will be able to enforce their IP rights against you. However, it depends on the extent of the differences and other variables. You should consult with a dedicated IP lawyer. 

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