Family and MWR Trademark
Variations, alterations, or modifications of the Family and MWR logo are not permitted; the prescriptions of the Family and MWR Logo Standards must be strictly followed.
A “trademark” is synonymous with a “brand.” It is a name or symbol that serves the function of visually associating the source of goods or services with a certain standard or quality. It identifies, in symbolic form, a reputation. Consistency of use maximizes the ability of a brand or trademark to achieve that goal. Consistency of use is all about attaining that reputation as quickly and as universally as possible. Once that reputation is achieved, a mark acquires the kind of secondary meaning, or distinctiveness. But most importantly for Family and MWR , Army personnel and other patrons Family and MWR serves, identify with the Family and MWR logo and accord a degree of loyalty to the goods and services it represents.
The distinguishing feature of trademark law is the concept of “use.” Continuity and consistency of use are critically important. The ultimate penalty for misuse or nonuse of a trademark is “abandonment”, that is, surrendering or relinquishing a legal right. Altering the appearance of a logo in any way while it is trademarked dilutes the legal position held by the owner of the trademark – in this case, Army Family and MWR – against infringement. That is why Army trademark attorneys have strongly and consistently warned against any variant use of the Family and MWR logo.
This stance is vitally important while the new Family and MWR logo is in the process of becoming established. In order to achieve the point that the Family and MWR logo receives the degree of recognition necessary to be considered distinctive under trademark law, continuity and consistency of use are essential. Any variation of the logo -- no matter how slight --- dilutes the original intent as filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Any logo variation can be cited by competitors as evidence that Army Family and MWR has no intent to acquire distinctiveness, creating an environment that would allow outside organizations to use the Family and MWR logo as they see fit. Thus, Family and MWR would lose the ability to protect the logo from unauthorized use by competitors, in effect, turning over an important legal and financial asset; our logo would become meaningless.
All of these reasons support our insistence that a strong continuity and consistency of use and appearance of the Family and MWR logo be maintained. We need your help to achieve this. Please ensure that every time the Family and MWR logo is used, it appears precisely as indicated in the Family and MWR Logo Standards. Also, whenever a third party is permitted to use the Family and MWR logo – for example, whenever items are purchased that are imprinted with the Family and MWR logo – a “non-exclusive limited license” clause describing the parameters of the use should be included in the contract. Any circumstances of improper use of the logo or unauthorized use by others must be reported to IMWR-BrandCentral@conus.army.mil immediately.