Can I Trademark Software?

No, you can not trademark software, but you can trademark the name and logo for your software.

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

For software developers, trademark law in the context of software is nuanced. While you can't trademark the type of software or its function, you can trademark elements like the name, logo, or slogan that are used in the promotion of computer software.

For example, “ADOBE” is a registered trademark for a variety of software products and services. Any materials that identify you as the originator of a specific product or service can be registered as a trademark. This process involves using the trademark in commerce and demonstrating the mark in connection with your software applications, whether they are downloadable software applications, non-downloadable software, or even mobile applications.

What if a competitor has similar software?

Registering your software’s brand name as a trademark will prevent a competitor from applying a similar name to a similar type of product or service. A distinct trademark helps in legal protection against software piracy and safeguards your property. However, this protection only covers products and services within a similar market; as such there exists the possibility that another product or service in a different industry may have a similar name.

Is it difficult to trademark software?

Consulting with a trademark attorney at a law firm experienced in federal trademark applications and federal trademark registration is a strategic step for software developers. They can guide you on the appropriate classes for software when filing your application. A software statement, which includes details like file types, dates of first use, and the form in which the software is offered (e.g., downloadable computer application software or browser-based applications), is typically part of the application process.

Can I protect the software program at all?

If you wish to protect the design of a program then you may wish to register a software copyright. A trademark will not protect the software program itself from recreation or imitation. Famous software brands often combine trademark and copyright protections to cover both their brand identity and the intellectual property of the software itself.

Help with trademarking software

If you would like to protect your software’s brand name and logo and ensure its distinction among various types of software, contact us today to get the trademark registration process started. Our law firm specializes in navigating the specific requirements of software trademarks, ensuring that your application aligns with the latest guidelines for federal trademark registration.

The Trademark Process

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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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