Remembering that a logo is a graphic signature, a logo should represent only one thing, your enterprise. The marketplace is crowded. Any business can get lost in the clamor for attention. Your success is dependent on your enterprise having its voice. Make yourself easy to find with a name and look all your own. Make your good name easy to identify with a logo that is all your own.
Trademarks started as a symbol for artisans to mark their work to build and protect their reputation for quality. Common-Law eventually developed safeguards for trademarks that lead to copyright and other intellectual property protection. Laws were established to protect the good name of the skilled craftsmen from others who would take advantage of that good name to sell substandard products marked with a copy of the craftsmen’s symbol. Yes, they were knockoffs even as far back as Elizabethan England.
So in the same way that you call your enterprise with a distinctive name to separate and distinguish, the graphics that present that name must also work to separate and distinguish. A unique visual presentation of that name will integrate with that identity. The name and a well-prepared logo will become one message.
It is a simple matter to verify the uniqueness of a potential logo in this age of the World Wide Web. Search the name and small variations of the name in any of the popular search engines. Most often, the logos of similarly named companies will be presented.
Even though names may be similar, the art itself should bear little resemblance to any other. This is critical if the business is in the same category or same market area. It will be prudent to consider a change if both name and marketplace are the same. U.S. trademark law requires companies with registered marks to protect their marks.
Cease and desist letters are common tools to defend their trademarks. Legal action may follow if the established business is not appeased. The hassle and expense of a legal proceeding are to be avoided. As someone said, don’t poke the bear.
Make your logo all your own.