What’s In a Logo, and Why Does it Matter?

What’s In a Logo, and Why Does it Matter?

July 12, 2020 Logos, or design trademarks, are images and shapes that identify a business and hopefully create an emotional connection to its customers. In launching Welsh IP Law, I worked with a graphic designer to create my logo, a graphic depiction of a roller chain, otherwise known as a bicycle chain. It reflects the technical aspects of my business and provides a “link” to innovation, both past and present, that my clients can identify with.


I adopted the rolling-pin chain link logo for several reasons. The sport of cycling is an important part of my life. I am an avid cyclist and thoroughly enjoy spending time on two wheels. I love the elegance and purity of the sport and the thrill of watching a peloton racing through the hills of Europe. The logo reflects this pursuit.

A Third of All Patent Applications Were Bicycle Related

At the turn of the 20th century bicycle manufacturing became one of America’s biggest and most innovative industries. A third of all patent applications were bicycle related—so many that the U.S. patent office had to build a separate annex to deal with them all.  I wanted my logo to reflect my hobby and also this important aspect of innovation in our history.

The roller chain depicted in the logo is perhaps the most important innovation in cycling and highlights the business case for protecting innovation with patents. The chain was developed and patented by Swiss born Hans Renold in Manchester, England in 1880.  Around this time, the safety bicycle had been developed, with a low seating position compared with the precarious perch of the Penny-Farthing. The original safety bicycles used common roller chains that proved useless because of the rapid wear. Hans identified the problem and developed the rolling pin chain in order to reduce wear to the pin. The original design of the roller chain was so successful that it remains the same basic design of transmission chain to this day. Renold’s patent provided a strong market position through exclusive rights to the popular chain and his company is still in business 140 years later.  

The roller chain was so successful that it remains the same basic design of transmission chain to this day.

My family also has a history of innovation that I hope to carry on with Welsh IP Law. The chain link logo inspires my work and creates an emotional connection to technology and innovation. My great-grandfather Frederick G. Smith was awarded US Patent No. 1,371,059 in 1921 for Railway Switch Operating Devices.  Charles Marti, another great-grandfather founded the Marti Electric Radio Company and received patents for his pioneering AC radio sets. Below is a picture of the original Smith patent, which I keep in my office, and a copy of one of Marti’s patent applications.

US Pat. No. 1,371,059 to Frederick Smith for a Railway Switch Operating Device
US Pat. No. 1,492,080 to Charles Louis Marti for a Tuning Coil