There are a lot of great, low-cost tools out there for aspiring business owners today. Whether you're embarking on a marketing campaign, looking to set up an e-commerce website, or creating your logo, it seems there's something for everyone. Canva, an Australian graphic design platform, is one of those tools that new businesses like to use. That's why often, we get the question "Can I trademark my Canva logo?" from our clients. The answer in just about all cases is "it depends." There are some instances where a logo you created in Canva can be trademarked, and others where you cannot. Whether or not you can pursue IP protection will depend on how you made your logo. Why You Can't Trademark a Template-Based Canva Logo As Canva is easy to learn, it's a popular choice for individuals who are just starting to get their business off the ground. Just because someone has a great business idea doesn't mean they're an artist. They may struggle to come up with graphic design ideas on their own. Canva is a low costplace to start because it offers a jumping-off point for someone who doesn't know graphic design but still wants to consider their options. One thing that the platform offers is logo templates. Unfortunately, you can't trademark a Canva logo when using one of these templates. The designs belong to Canva and are available to the public. Any logo you created would not be unique enough to pass the first trademark requirement: distinctiveness. The United States Patent and Trademark Office requires that registered trademarks be distinctive, meaning that the design could not be mistaken for another brand in the same industry. If it's too close a match to something else, then it won't pass the test. All individuals interested in registering a trademark are expected to search for potential conflicts using the Trademark Electronic Search System before submitting an application. While Canva's logo templates are customizable, they're also the property of Canva. Consequently, you can't use them as the basis for a trademark and meet the distinctiveness criteria. That does not mean you can never trademark a logo you created in Canva. While you're prevented from trademarking those you made with a template, there is room for creative freedom in the program. When You Can Register a Canva Logo as a Trademark There are two ways that Canva can be used in the creation of a trademarkable logo. First, you can use the program to design a trademark from scratch. The platform offers a wide range of free line and shape options that you can use to build and customize your logo. As long as you stick to those and don't add any non-exclusive material (like stock photos), you should be able to create a conceptually registrable logo in Canva. There's another reason to use Canva to protect your logo. To be registered with the USPTO, a logo must meet two criteria. We already discussed distinctiveness in that your trademark must be unique. The second requirement is "use in commerce". If you want a registered trademark, you must prove that you used it in commerce across state lines. That could include printing it on your products, using it in your marketing materials, or incorporating it into your packaging. Canva comes in handy here, as you can upload your logo to the platform and use it to create this material. It can be printed on your products and business mailings or used for marketing. Provided you show a good faith effort to use the logo in interstate business, and you're not doing it solely to trademark, you'll meet the second criteria. So yes, you can trademark a logo you created using Canva, provided it's an original creation and not based on stock images or the platform’s templates. Of course, if you're unsure, it's wise to talk to an experienced attorney. They will help you understand if the design you created on this helpful platform is one that you can protect and reserve for your exclusive use. Bold Patents can help you trademark a Canva logo and provide the protection you need for your growing business. Reach out to us for a consultation online or call 800-849-1913 for more information.