According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), your logo design is trademarked the first time it is used in commerce. So as soon as you pair your logo with your products or services for sale, your trademark is created. However, your trademark is limited to the geographic area where you have used your logo unless you file for a registered trademark at the state or national level. While many local small businesses may not benefit from the increased protection of a registered trademark, as indicated by the “®,” others may if they plan to do business beyond their local area. For a more detailed explanation, and to decide what’s right for your business, see the USPTO’s Resources on Trademark Basics. We also recommend you consult with an attorney to discuss your options.