Symbols In Trade Names

I was wondering is it possible to register symbols as part of your trade name and logo. Example-if I named my business Exclamation Pizza could I use the ! as part of my logo and trademark it being that it is a universal symbol?

Just scrolling through the older posts and saw this one … one of the few I can answer here since I’m still learning about the pizza biz!

Generally, it’s tough to get a trademark for universal symbols (for instance, just the exclamation mark alone) unless you’re a huge corporation with a lot of trademark lawyers … but what you can try to trademark is is the entire graphic: the symbol in a “lock up” with your name, so in other words as a complete logo. I’m not a trademark expert, but I work in branding. I’ve named a lot of products/services and consulted with clients on this topic pretty often, and I know the general guidelines the US Patent & Trademark Office uses in trying to consider whether a mark/name is clear for use.

You can check uspto.gov if you want more info on trademarking symbols, and you can do searches for particular marks or words. Your state may also have its own trademark registration database for state-level trademarks. Illinois, where I am, does.

Hope that helps.