Can you trademark a map?

Yes, you can trademark a map. If you create a logo that is comprised of a map or an outline of a geographic area, and if you use the logo to sell or promote your products or services, then you may trademark the logo.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

Your trademarked map image would not prevent another party from manufacturing or printing a map with similar content, nor will it grant you ownership or control over any lands depicted in the logo. Instead, your trademark will prevent your competitors from using a similar map image to identify and promote their products or services.

If you wish to trademark a map, then the logo design will face the same scrutiny by the Trademark Office that any other logo would. Factors that the Trademark Office will examine include how distinctive and unique your logo is, and whether your logo is too similar to any prior-existing trademarks. In order to ensure that the logo is distinct and original enough to qualify for trademark protection, the Trademark Office will check to make sure that it is different from any existing trademarks.

You should have a thorough trademark search conducted on your behalf to ensure that your logo design is distinct and unique enough to register as a trademark. Contact us today for assistance and guidance on trademarking your logo.

Ensuring Your Map Logo Meets Federal Trademark Registration Standards

When considering a map for a logo, it's essential to navigate the realms of Federal trademark registration, focusing on creating a mark that meets the stringent requirements for uniqueness and non-descriptiveness. The legal rights bestowed by a registered trademark are significant, offering robust protection against unauthorized use by competitors. However, achieving eligibility for trademark protection necessitates a design that transcends mere location depiction to embody a defensible trademark.

Navigating Copyrights and Trademark Rights in Map Logos

Distinct from copyrights, which protect artistic works, trademark rights safeguard marks used in commerce to distinguish goods or services. This distinction underscores the importance of consulting with a trademark attorney who can clarify the boundaries between these areas of intellectual property law, particularly as they relate to maps. A map used as a logo, endowed with names and distinctive design elements, can qualify for trademark protection provided it serves the primary function of a trademark — to identify the source of products or services to consumers.

Descriptive Trademarks and the Challenge of Distinctiveness

A common hurdle in trademarking map logos involves the issue of descriptive trademarks. If a map logo is merely descriptive of the location where the goods or services are offered, it may struggle to achieve the distinctiveness required for trademark protection. The Trademark Office's examination will include an assessment of whether the map logo is capable of functioning as a source identifier in the eyes of consumers, setting it apart from merely being a depiction of a geographic area.


Trademarking a map as part of a logo presents unique challenges and opportunities within trademark law. The key to success lies in crafting a design that is not only visually distinct but also capable of carrying the weight of trademark rights, providing legal protection against imitation and misuse in the marketplace.

Engaging a skilled trademark attorney early in the process can offer critical guidance, ensuring that your map logo becomes a powerful and defensible asset for your business.

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Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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