• 11 July, 2018
  • Nyall Engfield

Trademarks do not always need to be capitalized, rather, they should be used in their normal form, whether lowercase, mix of upper and lower case, or all capitalization. So long as they are used in association with goods and services, they will be "in use" for trademark purposes. 

The use of capitalization in trademark applications is an important consideration as it can impact the scope of protection and enforcement of the mark. Here are some details about when to use or avoid capitalization:

Using Capitalization:
- Capitalization is typically recommended if the trademark owner intends to use the mark in a stylized or distinctive format, with specific letters or words capitalized. This ensures that the registration covers the mark in that particular capitalized form.
- If the mark includes acronyms or abbreviations, capitalizing them can help distinguish them from regular words and ensure they are recognized as part of the trademark.
- Capitalizing the first letter of each word in a multi-word mark can help establish it as a unified trademark rather than a descriptive phrase.

Avoiding Capitalization:
- If the trademark is intended to be used in standard characters without any stylized capitalization, it is advisable to submit the application in standard letter case to maintain broad protection.
- Avoiding capitalization can provide a more flexible trademark registration that covers the mark regardless of how it is capitalized in use.
- For highly descriptive or generic words, using all lowercase letters can help prevent the perception that the applicant is claiming exclusive rights to the term itself.

It's important to note that the capitalization used in the trademark application determines the scope of protection. If a mark is registered in a particular capitalized form, the registration may not cover variations with different capitalization styles. Conversely, if registered in standard characters, the registration can potentially cover all capitalization variations.

When we are using trademarks in communications with the trademark office, we use the capitalized form to set the trademark off from other text in the submission, to show that it is a trademark, and when filing we use capitalization for trademarks to let the USPTO know that the mark is protected in all forms, lowercase and uppercase.

Let us know if you have any questions about using your trademark, and ensuring consistent use!

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