Word trademarks normally consist solely of letters and common characters that are used for real or made-up words. Examples include Canadian Tire, Best Buy and Loblaw’s. A registered trademark will protect the words alone.
A slogan or catch phrase, such as “the pause that refreshes”, is simply a word mark with lots of words. This is frequently called a tag line.
Design Mark / Logo
A trademark may consist of only a design, with no words or characters at all, such as the Nike “swoosh.” Design marks are often inherently more distinctive than word marks, and hence are ‘stronger’ trademarks. However, they must be used exactly as registered to gain the benefit of the registration. Also, if there are words associated with the design, the words per se are not protected. If you use the same words but with a different design or colour, then the registration may not give you protection. If there are any words or characters involved with a design mark, they should also be searched.
Wordmark with Design Characteristics / Logo
The words of a trademark may have special design characteristics, such as a distinctive font, special borders, designs or patterns. For these trademarks, the words are not protected as such, but only as part of the overall design mark. For stronger protection, it may be necessary to apply for both a word trademark alone and a design trademark with the words.