Difference between a Trademark as a Word Mark or as a Device Mark

Difference between a Trademark as a Word Mark or as a Device Mark

Trademark Registration

Trademark is an important tool to protect the business identity. From a business perspective, it helps to build goodwill, for individuals it helps to recognize the brand of products/services they use. Trademarks can be registered in multiple forms, so after deciding the Mark/Name, the primary question that comes to mind is how to choose the filing category: Word Mark or Device Mark/Logo Mark?

The most common dilemma is choosing between these two categories and filing an application. Although there are various factors to decide whether a business should be registered as a wordmark or device mark, we will try to explain core factors leading to take the toughest decision.


The category word mark covers the registration of words or letters only. No protection is granted to the design and presentation covering the style of fonts, size or colour of the name. This means the protection is granted only for the combination of words or letters.

Why to choose Word Mark:

  • By getting registered a Word mark you are getting protection over the complete word
  • Once registered, it allows you to use the brand in every possible way, not bounding with particular graphic design
  • You can restrict others from using the word in different languages as well
  • It gives protection even if someone using your registered word mark with a different logo or image
  • Word Mark gives flexibility to use the words in any design with broader protection when matter comes of infringement of the Trademark

Device Mark:

The category device mark covers the images, styles of font, graphic design, colour combinations and words are taken together. Protection is granted only to that combination of design and appearance of the mark as whole applied for registration. It cannot be changed later on. If separate appearance is used to identify the products or services, it requires a registration separately. No flexibility is granted to use the images in any other way.

Why to Choose Device Mark:

  • The visual appearance of Logo/ device mark makes it easier to remember the brand in minds of the consumers.
  • An attractive eye catchy image, graphic design puts an impression in mind, and consumers can recall the brand they use.
  • Once your registered image hits the larger market, it strongly builds the goodwill for your business. Apple, Pepsi, Twitter, You Tube are few interesting examples.
  • You can prevent others using deceptively similar images, once you get the registration.

Device v/s Word Mark:

One common problem with Device mark is that you have to use it as it is, no changes are possible unlike work mark, and filing multiple applications is a costly affair for everyone.

But, the safest way is to pick both categories for strong protection covering all the aspects of protecting the brand value. Ideally, you would attain broader protection by filing one application as a word mark and the other as a device mark.

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