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We are into Fintech space. We are doing a rebrand and the logo we have finalised unfortunately looks similar to the one on left in the below image. Now we are in a dilemma that if we should go ahead with this or not. Can anyone tell us if we can trademark this? Is it going to be a problem? Can the other company file a lawsuit against us? Also, did you see any other logo similar to us?


After your feedback, we have updated it like this. What do you think?

enter image description here

marked as duplicate by Zach Saucier, Westside, joojaa, Cai, Vincent Jun 2 '17 at 9:16

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  • Do the two companies operate in similar sectors and/or the same territories? – Westside Feb 3 '17 at 12:06
  • @Chris: Sequoia is a American venture capital company and we operate in financial technology sector in India – Tharun Kumar Feb 3 '17 at 12:20
  • @ joojaa: Maybe it might look worse but it is not the question I asked – Tharun Kumar Feb 3 '17 at 12:21
  • @TharunKumar In thst case it is a problem if you ever intend to do bsuiness in US. – joojaa Feb 3 '17 at 12:28
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    @TharunKumar: I'm not a lawyer, but my advise would be change your logo, depending on what 'finalised' means. Venture capital companies tend to have far reaching business interests and good lawyers. If you haven't printed all your stationery, launched your website and put the sign on the front of the building yet then make some adjustments to the logo to ensure that you avoid future pain. – Westside Feb 3 '17 at 12:35
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Back when I was doing commercial art for my living, I'd occasionally run across news of some lawsuit based on a logo (symbol) causing confusion. The standard is (or was, anyway) not whether the logos can be distinguished when side by side, but whether seeing Logo B makes people think it's a new version of Logo A. If that happens, the owners of Logo B are in some legal trouble.

Given that there are very few differences between the two logos, and none of the differences are significant, it's not hard to foresee major trouble. So yes, do change it now, while it's still inexpensive to do so.

(While you're at it, design it in one-color black. To get that halftone effect you have now requires either halftones, which weakens the color, or some tricky work on the press, which more than doubles the cost. It was a common heuristic back in the day that anyone who can't design a good logo in one-color black can't design a good logo at all!)


Suggestions for differentiation:

  • rotate the symbol 45 degrees anti-clockwise

  • reverse the symbol out of a very dark (just short of optical-black) green square. You can use cool, neutral, or warm green. Cool reinforces the pine-tree motive, but is distancing; warm is more approachable, but reduces the tree effect; neutral leaves everything alone.

  • reverse it out of a dark green triangle, base down. A triangle reinforces "tree" and feels "stable", but can also feel "spiky". Same warm-cool caveats.

  • reverse it out of a dark green circle. A circle is friendlier and more inclusive, but is much less tree-ish. Same warm-cool caveats.

  • go to 5 needle pairs rather than 3 (going to 4 is unlikely to be visually distinctive enough, but you could try it)

  • add 1 or 2 pinecones -- but mind out that it doesn't end up reminding people of a WW2 SS collar patch!!

  • Thanks MMacD. I get your point. It is designed in black first. Then to add more value to it I used those colors. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how can we make it look different without much change – Tharun Kumar Feb 4 '17 at 2:30
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The both logos have some similarities, but they don't look identical enough to cause confusion between customers, so I'm gonna say no. All in all, logos, by their very nature, are used to identify businesses and groups and though trademark protection covers many additional things, it offers a much more narrow scope of protection. In short, trademark is designed not to prevent copying, but confusion in the marketplace, thus severely limiting what uses of the logo can be considered infringing. source

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    I don't know... I could easily see myself being confused between those marks without the names to go with them – Cai Feb 3 '17 at 11:56
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If that companies which has similar logo as yours and their has a brand guidelines of that logo and they are specifically write that this type of design you can not add on your logo then it may cause problem for your logo otherwise you can use your logo. You can see brand guidelines from search in Google.

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