How Do I Trademark My Photography?

How do I trademark my photography? In order to trademark your photography, you will need to file for a trademark with the USPTO.

Checkout this video:

Introduction: What is a trademark and why would I want to trademark my photography?

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods or services of a particular trader from those of other traders. A trademark can be a name, slogan, logo, image, sound or smell used on its own or in combination with other elements.

Many photographers choose to trademark their work to prevent others from using it without permission. Trademarks can also be used to prevent others from registering a similar mark that could cause confusion in the marketplace.

If you are thinking about trademarking your photography, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you will need to choose a strong and distinctive mark that is not already being used by someone else. Second, you will need to use the mark in commerce in order to establish legal rights in it. Finally, you will need to file a trademark application with the USPTO and renew the registration periodically.

If you have questions about trademarking your photography or would like assistance with the application process, please contact us. We are happy to help!

What can I trademark?

You can trademark anything that identifies your business, including your name, slogan, logo, and anything else that sets you apart from your competition. If you have a particularly creative or unique style of photography, you may be able to trademark that as well. However, it’s important to note that you can’t trademark ideas or techniques — only the specific expression of those ideas or techniques.

The process of trademarking your photography

It is a common misconception that you can trademark your photography simply by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office. In reality, the process of trademarking your photography is a bit more complicated than that.

To trademark your photography, you will need to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO is a federal agency that responsible for granting trademarks in the United States.

The USPTO requires that all trademarks be registered in order to be enforceable. This means that you will need to provide evidence that your photography is being used in commerce in order to obtain a trademark registration.

Once you have filed your application, the USPTO will review it to ensure that it meets all of their requirements. If everything looks good, your application will be published in the Official Gazette, which is a weekly publication of the USPTO.

At this point, anyone who opposes your registration can file an objection with the USPTO. If no one objects, or if any objections are overcome, your registration will be finalized and you will be granted a trademark for your photography.

The benefits of trademarking your photography

There are many benefits to trademarking your photography, including protection from infringement and the ability to license your work. Trademarking your photography also allows you to sell your work as prints or on products without fear of infringement. If you are a professional photographer, trademarking your work can also help you build a brand and increase your visibility in the industry.

The costs of trademarking your photography

There are a few things you should know about trademarking your photography before you decide to do so. For one, it can be expensive. The costs associated with trademarking your photography include the filing fee, which is currently $275 per class of goods or services that you wish to register, and the cost of an attorney, if you choose to hire one.

It is also important to understand that trademark protection is not absolute. Even if you have registered your photography with the USPTO, there are still circumstances under which someone could use your work without permission. For example, if someone were to use your photos in a way that is not “commercial” or “competitive,” such as for educational or news purposes, then they would likely be allowed to do so without infringing on your rights.

So, while trademarking your photography can provide some level of protection, it is important to weigh the costs and benefits before deciding whether or not it is right for you.

The risks of not trademarking your photography

If you take pictures for a living, or even if you’re an amateur photographer who takes pictures for fun, it’s important to understand the risks of not trademarking your photos. While it’s not required by law to do so, there are several good reasons why you should consider registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

One of the biggest dangers of not trademarking your photography is that someone else could register your work as their own. This would give them the legal right to profit from your photos, and it would also prevent you from being able to use them yourself. If you’ve ever had your work stolen online, you know how frustrating it can be to try to track down the offender and get them to take down your photos. With a registered trademark, you would have an easier time doing this because you could send a cease-and-desist letter directly to the infringer.

Another reason to trademark your photography is that it can help you stop others from using your pictures without permission. If you find that someone has plagiarized one of your photos, or even just copied it without giving credit, you can send them a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they stop using your work. In some cases, you may even be able to sue for damages if they’ve used your photo in a way that has harmed your business.

Finally, registering your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office gives you additional protections if someone does decide to use them without permission. If you win a lawsuit against an infringer, they may be ordered to pay statutory damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per infringement. They may also be ordered to pay your attorney’s fees and court costs.

Overall, trademarking your photography is a good way to protect yourself from theft and unauthorized use. It’s also a good way to make sure that you’re compensated if someone does decide to use your work without permission. If you’re serious about photography, registering your photos with the U.S Copyright Office is a smart move

How long does it take to trademark my photography?

Once you file your application with the USPTO, it can take several months to a year for them to process it. In the meantime, you can use the ™ symbol next to your work to indicate that you’ve claimed trademark protection for it. If your application is approved, you can then use the ® symbol.

How do I renew my trademark?

Every trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. You must file a new application and pay the required fees to renew your trademark registration.

Frequently Asked Questions about trademarking photography

Can I trademark my photography?
The easy answer is yes. You can trademark anything that is original, distinctive, and used in commerce. However, there are some additional requirements for trademarking photography.

What are the requirements for trademarking photography?
To qualify for a trademark, your photography must be original and distinctive. It must also be used in commerce, which means it must be used to identify and distinguish your goods or services from those of others. In addition, your photography must be used in a way that is likely to cause confusion among consumers. For example, if you use a similar logo or name as another photographer, consumers may mistakenly believe that you are the same person or company.

How do I use my photography in commerce?
There are many ways to use photography in commerce. You can use it on your website, on social media, on products that you sell, or in advertising and marketing materials. If you want to sell prints of your photographs, you will need to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. Once your copyright is registered, you can include the © symbol next to each image that is available for sale.

Can I license my photography to others?
Yes. If you have created unique and original photographs, you can license them for others to use. When licensing your photographs, it’s important to remember that you are granting someone else the right to use your work — but you still own the copyright to the image. This means that you can continue to use the photograph yourself and receive credit whenever it’s used by someone else. When licensing your photography, be sure to include terms that state how and where the image can be used, what type of rights are being granted (exclusive or non-exclusive), and how long the license will last. You should also include a statement that grants you the right to terminate the license if the terms are not met.

Can I trademark a photograph that I took of someone else?
Yes — but only if the photograph is substantially different from any other existing photos of that person. For example, if you take a close-up photo of a celebrity’s face and millions of other people have taken similar photos of that celebrity from afar, yours is not likely to be considered distinctive enough to trademark. However, if you take an original photo of a celebrity doing something unexpected (like playing an instrument or riding a bike), it may be eligible for trademark protection.


You should now have a good understanding of how to trademark your photography. Remember, it’s important to do your research and be sure that you are protect your work in the best way possible. If you have any questions, be sure to consult an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.

Scroll to Top