Hands off: How to copyright a logo and protect your brand

Want to make sure that your business stands out from the herd ?
There are a few crucial things you ’ ll need to accomplish that goal .
beginning, you ’ re going to need an idea that speaks to your target audience – a product or service that makes their lives easier and more commodious. once you have that, you ’ ll need a business identify .
Your nickname will help to identify your business and capture the care of your ideal customer.

next, you ’ re going to need a logo – the center of your mark ’ s ocular identity .
While there ’ s a bunch more to your brand than your logo, it ’ s impossible to ignore the impact that these trade name marks have on the way customers and stakeholders perceive your ship’s company. The right logo immediately conveys crucial ideas about your commercial enterprise .
merely expect at the playful bubble writing of Lego ’ second logo, or the bold typography and swooping Swoosh of Nike .
With a well-designed logo, you can convey critical information to your target hearing in a individual graphic. In seconds, your customers know what your ship’s company stands for .
Of class, designing the perfect logo international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate easy .
Most companies spend months trying to find the ideal stigmatize, or they spend their hard-earned budget paying for professionals to help them craft the veracious double .
When you ’ ve spent both time and cash on creating the right logo, it makes sense that you ’ vitamin d want to ensure that your effigy is protected .
That ’ south why logo copyright is so essential .
How To Copyright A Logo

How can I protect my logo from being copied?

good like an effective occupation name, your logo differentiates your caller, and helps to placement your arrangement in your target market .
unfortunately, there are enough of unscrupulous companies out there that are felicitous to steal your hard workplace and title it as their own. These businesses will take an un-protected logo and slap a copyright on it, so that you ’ re entrust having to start your branding scheme over from rub .
More small businesses than you ’ five hundred think start their search for the right logo on Google, searching shape an image that they can copy and paste into their mark assets .
When you trademark and copyright a logo, you effectively protect your design from being stolen and used by other companies or brands .
once you ’ ve implemented your cerebral place protection, any other entity that attempts to use your logo without your permission can be taken to court .
Before you learn how to get a logo copyrighted, it ’ second worth making surely that you know what a copyright actually is. A copyright on your logo means that you are legally protected regarding the use, rights, and distribution of your logo .
If you ’ re a copyright owner, then the Copyright Act of 1976 indicates that you can access the exclusive right to reproduce your knead, distribute that work, and display your logo wherever you like .
notably, a copyright and a trademark aren’t the same thing. Trademarks registered with the US apparent and trademark agency permit owners to sue infringers for mis-use .
Trademarks generally offer more comprehensive and long-run protection over logo designs than you get when copyrighting a logo .
We ’ ll come back to the difference between a logo copyright and a trademark a little late, to help you better understand what kind of protection you need for your brand identity .
For now, let ’ s take a look at the benefits of registering a copyright for your logo design .
How To Copyright A Logo

The benefits of copyrighting a logo to defend your brand

A logo copyright, just like a trademark or patent, is a class of protection intended to give you possession over your intellectual property. Copyrights and trademarks can apply to any creative work or palpable mind, provided that you ’ re dealing with something original.
When you copyright or trademark your intellectual property, such as a logo or name, you ’ re asking the government to support you in ensuring that no other mark can use your property for their own advance .
additionally, copyrighting a logo can help to protect your brand reputation besides .
think if you saw Nike ’ mho logo spread across some low-quality running shoes that fell apart the moment that you put them on. You wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know at first if you were dealing with a company that was stealing Nike ’ south trope .
The first base thing you would think is that you could no longer trust the choice of the products that you bought from Nike. In the same way, if another, lower-quality post used your logo to define their services or products, you risk your business coming into doubt .
One thing worth noting when you ’ re wondering about copyrighting a logo is that any artistic image in the US is mechanically protected by copyright law angstrom soon as it ’ s trace .
In the US, the law demands that images automatically belong to the artist that created them, unless the possession of the effigy has been transferred somewhere else .
additionally, some artists and designers can besides classify their content as being available to the populace or free to use .
however, there ’ s a remainder between mechanically having a copyright for your logo and copyrighting a logo with the US Copyright Office .
Registering the ownership of your brand persona with the right legal bodies means that you can enforce your protective covering in woo .
With a legal copyright, you can :

  • Prevent confusion in the marketplace caused by two companies using similar logos.
  • Ensure that your brand identity remains unique, distinct, and memorable.
  • Protect your brand reputation from people either deliberately or accidentally working to destroy it. 
  • Ensure that no one else in your chosen industry or niche can “borrow,” copy, or adapt your design for their own logo.

How To Copyright A Logo

How to copyright a logo: Before you begin

A classifiable, memorable, and unique logo is an essential asset to any business .
just like an effective brand name, or a compel range of products, your logo helps you to stand out from the push and capture the attention of your target consultation .
however, while an excellent logo can be identical unmanageable to come up with, it ’ s fabulously easy for other companies to come along and steal your ideas. 
There ’ sulfur a common, albeit wrong, theme in the digital world today, that any capacity found on-line is available to the public. When struggling to find their own logo ideas, many businesses assume that they can jump on Google on take inhalation from the images they find there .
This frequently means that a batch of modest businesses end up with logo designs that are very alike to existing emblems .
Although copyright exists for a logo ampere soon as it ’ s draw or designed, that copyright protective covering may not be a extensive as you think .
The optional registration of your copyright gives you a fortune more advantages as a logo owner, including the ability to sue other companies in federal courts throughout the US. Although you will need to ensure that your logo is available to be copyrighted before you begin .
If you ’ rhenium wondering “ How do I get my logo copyrighted ? ” Make surely you :

1. Know what kind of property can be copyrighted

First things first, it ’ second authoritative that you know what kind of place can be copyrighted. Works of artwork, and logos, for case, are available to be registered with a copyright in the US. however, you can not copyright “familiar symbols, designs, or typographic variations”.
Because common symbols and designs aren ’ t available to be copyrighted when you ’ rhenium claiming ownership of your logo, it can be very difficult to stop early people from using your logo with copyright alone .
Unless your design is 100 % singular, then you might need to combine your copyright registration with a hallmark and other forms of protection .

2. Make sure your logo is unique and creative

The limitations of copyrighting hateful that you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate habit copyrights to protect colors, names, or the existing works of others. For example, if your logo is your name surrounded by a traffic circle, you ’ d probably have a hard time getting it protected via a copyright .
To qualify for protection when you ’ re copyrighting a logo, you ’ ll necessitate to ensure that your design is creative adequate to qualify for logo copyrights under the “ artwork ” class .
A very basic logo international relations and security network ’ thymine going to be sufficient in this case. For exercise, the standard image of a raven for the Baltimore Ravens wouldn ’ triiodothyronine have been copyrighted by the US position .
While the picture that the NFL brand created with the aid of a professional couturier was deemed to be sufficiently creative to be given protective covering.

3. Avoid using anything that has already been claimed

When you ’ rhenium looking for the perfect logo, you may notice that a set of the companies in your industry or niche use alike designs or styles to capture hearing attention .
just because there are a batch of alike images out there, doesn ’ thyroxine mean that you can get away with using an emblem that ’ s excessively stopping point to something else on the market .
If you ’ ra working with a professional logo interior designer, then that technical will do their due diligence to make certain that you ’ rhenium not trying to copyright a logo that ’ s excessively close to anything else in your diligence .
then, if you ’ ra conducting your own design cultivate, you ’ ll need to make certain that the logo you want to claim hasn ’ thymine already been registered elsewhere. You can search through the US Copyright Office to find out if there are any problems with your design .
How To Copyright A Logo

How do you copyright a logo: Getting started

Both USPTO and the Copyright Office have services available online that allow individuals and companies to copyright images and early properties themselves .
In some cases, you may decide that you would prefer to ask for the help oneself of an intellectual property lawyer alternatively. An lawyer can do more exhaustive research into the databases available for logo designs and trademarks .
This means that you can ensure that you ’ ra not attempting to copyright something that another occupation already has ownership over .
additionally, intellectual property attorneys besides know how to keep the process of applying for a logo copyright or trademark more effective .
An lawyer with cognition of IP law or your occupation can help if you need to file a lawsuit against person who is violating your copyright or trademark excessively .
Whether you decide to go it alone or get the aid of a lawyer, copyrighting a logo international relations and security network ’ thymine equally complicated as it might seem. All you need to do is register your possession of your copyright with the Office for United States Copyrighting .
You can do this either by sending a text file in through the mail or submitting an lotion on-line .
typically, and at the prison term of publication, it costs between $ 35 and $ 85 to officially copyright a logo. The price of your application will depend on whether you ’ re applying on-line or by chain mail, and on which class you select .
These are the steps involved in copyrighting a logo :

  • Fill out the application form, either on paper or online: You will need to enter various pieces of personal information, including your name, your contact details, and a high-resolution version of your logo. 
  • Pay a registration fee: Usually, your logo registration fee will be around $39. You can pay to copyright a logo online using a check, a deposit, or a credit card payment. 
  • Wait for a response: If you fill out and submit your forms by direct mail, then it can take up to 13 months for the government to process your request. The waiting time if you submit your application online is likely to be under 8 months. 

Keep in mind that regardless of the method you choose to apply for your logo copyright, your copyright will be effective from the date that you submit your form, not from the date of approval .
That means that if person tries to start using your logo in between the time that you send your shape to the US copyright function, and the time that you gain approval, you can distillery take that individual to court .

Is trademarking better than copyrighting?

For most companies, choosing to copyright a logo is a no brainer. 
In the US, aesthetic works and intellectual place is already copyrighted from the moment that it is created. All you need to do is register your possession of that copyright to start being protected. There are a few issues with copyrighting that need to be considered, however .
For case, in ordering for a work to have protection via copyright, it needs to adhere to a very specific level of creativity. many logos plainly aren ’ triiodothyronine creative enough to be properly copyright protected .
If your brand international relations and security network ’ thyroxine building complex or flowery, then you could struggle to get the floor of protection that ’ south required to defend your brand identity .
The good news with son is that many of them will qualify for both copyright protection and brand protective covering. With that in mind, it ’ south frequently a good estimate for businesses to think about not just how to copyright a logo and name, but besides how to trademark those assets excessively .
Trademarks are often much easier to defend than copyrights, particularly because there are no adjustment requirements in the US for obtaining a set or suing for trademarking misdemeanor .
however, it is worth noting that acting against brand issues can be a identical expensive and complicate process. additionally, the narrow-minded scope of brand law means that applying for a trademark might be confusing for many brands .
If you ’ ra not surely whether your brand logo and other assets need to be copyrighted or trademarked, then the best thing you can do is speak to an intellectual property lawyer .
A lawyer specializing in IP matters can help you to figure out what sort of defense you need to have in place for your business identity. At the like time, lawyers can besides assist with improving your chances of a successful application besides .
While answering the question “ How do I get my logo copyrighted ” is much angstrom simple as filling out the right forms online, there are some complexities in this area excessively. Logos exist in a strange area of cerebral property police, where copyright and brand protection often overlap .
Most of the time, many logos in the US and around the global play it safe by getting double protection between copyright and hallmark .
You might even find that if you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate put on for a copyright for your logo, you can distillery improve your chances of protecting your brand assets by getting a trademark assigned to your company rather .

What to do after you copyright a logo

so, what do you do after you have successfully registered for logo copyright protection ?
The first footfall is normally affixing the copyright symbol to your logo. You ’ ve credibly noticed the letter C surrounded by a traffic circle that is attached to some of the son on-line. You can besides add the TM brand symbol if you apply for hallmark adjustment excessively .
Some companies even decide to add some bequest to their mark identity by adding the data when their logo was first published .
Adding a date to your copyrighted logo can help to support your strategy for brand transparency .
It ’ mho besides significant, if you ’ ve had person else design your logo for you, to ensure that you actually have possession of your brand set. In the US, the creator of the logo artwork mechanically owns the design. They can transfer the rights to that logo over to you, however .
Make certain that you know which forms you need to sign and what you need to do to claim your logo .
normally, when you register your logo copyright, you ’ ll be able to mechanically claim possession of the design. The u government may ask you to prove that you own the artwork with a document of buy or something alike between you and your interior designer .

Extending your logo copyright protection

once you know for certain that you have ownership over your logo in the US, you can begin to consider your options for extending your security. It ’ sulfur besides worth noting that the claim you have over your copyright in the US is only relevant in one state .
If you want to take your business and your logo to early parts of the populace, then you will need to apply for protection in those locations besides. Speak to your IP lawyer for more advice about what to do when applying for trademarks and copyrights in other parts of the earth .
additionally, when you ’ ra expanding your logo copyright protection, you can besides think about whether you want to obtain brand rights. The USA supports the protective covering of trademarks for ampere long as your logo continues to be associated with your services or goods .
On the early hand, your copyright protection will alone death for a express timeframe .
Trademark protection international relations and security network ’ t quite ampere broad as copyright protection. Trademarks won ’ metric ton prevent early people from using something alike to the logo that you already have if they ’ re sell unlike services and goods, for exemplify .
many businesses find that having both copyright and brand security in invest gives them an supernumerary level of defense when dealing with intellectual property and brand assets .
How To Copyright A Logo

Taking advantage of logo copyrights

ultimately, when you spend your valued clock time and money building a recognizable identity for your company, the survive thing that you want is for person to come along and steal it .
Learning how to copyright a logo and name is one of the best things you can do to protect your critical company assets .
The dependable news for businesses of all shapes and sizes is that you can well trademark and copyright your logo on-line, without having to spend a short ton of money .
You can even get professional aid every mistreat of the way, from logo designers, like the team here at Fabrik, to IP attorneys.

Make surely that you defend your sword identity with the justly copyright protection .
Fabrik Brands: Creative industry

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