A logo depicts your brand's identity. It has to represent your company's unique personality in a compelling, attention-grabbing way. Whether designing your logo or working with an expert designer, this quick and easy guide will help ensure your logo is fully protected by copyright law.
Copyrighting your logo doesn't require you to be a lawyer. But if you are a designer, you’ll know you can copyright your work—and get paid for it—whether or not you get a letter from a lawyer.
The world’s best designers put their best work on display. So what happens when a designer wants to protect the originality of his work and ensure he receives the total compensation he deserves for his time and efforts? That’s where copyright laws come into play. This guide will explain copyright, how it applies to logos, and how to legally protect your logo design.
Most designers and Logo Design companies design logos and brand identities. But when it comes to copyrighting a logo, there are some things you need to consider before submitting your final designs to a licensing agent.
To understand how to copyright a design logo, let us first understand the concept of copyright.
Copyright: What does it mean?
An intellectual property right is a copyright. It can protect your ideas, creations, or original works. Therefore, you must obtain permission before copying others' work.
Without permission, you could be liable for using someone else's work. It is not allowed to copy the whole thing, but using parts of someone else’s work is OK.
Furthermore, unauthorized use of someone else's work is a serious offense. Therefore, any time you use another person's work, you should ask for their permission. You can get permission by contacting the copyright holder.
Whether a work of authorship is copied or reproduced is protected by copyright. In other words, the copyright owner has the sole authority to authorize others to make copies or reproductions of the work. The only person who is allowed to copy an original work is its creator. Copyright belongs exclusively to the creator of an original work.
Furthermore, the author has the sole right to decide what happens to their work after applying the copyright. For Example, if an author wants to sell or license the rights to their book, they will have to negotiate with the publisher before doing so.
Trademarks are also important. A trademark can help companies to get recognition. It is used to protect a business or product from copying. A company can also get a copyright for its designs. In addition to protecting its authors' creative ideas, copyright ensures their protection.
How to Copyright a Design Logo - Step By Step
To copyright a design logo, it takes careful consideration of each detail, and sometimes even the most minor mistakes can result in invalid copyright.
Process of Copyrighting a Logo Design
- The first step in copyrighting a logo design is to develop a few ideas you like. You can do this in a variety of ways. Listed below are a few ideas.
- Get out a sketchbook and doodle. Or, if you have a tablet, sketch out your logo idea there.
- If you have a website you’re working on, take a screenshot of your idea and create a document on your computer.
- Observe your surroundings outside. Do you have a favorite color? Do they look good together? Which ones complement each other?
- Create a mood board using Pinterest. Create your board or use someone else’s to show you how to express what you want your logo to say.
- Start a sketchbook with some loose notes about your logo idea. Keep it in plain sight so you’ll see it. Adding ideas as they come to you is a good idea.
- Choose different objects to express your idea and arrange them on a background to make your logo stand out.
Once you have found your design ideas, it’s time to choose one that you like. You should remember that the design you choose should convey your message. So you need to choose something you feel strongly about and will leave a lasting impression.
Create an Original Design
Having a unique design is important. To be original, you need to put your touch on the design. Ensure that your work doesn't resemble someone else's. So you need to look at your logo design ideas in a mirror and consider whether they are original. If you do that, you can see if they look like something someone else has already designed.
You will make your mark visible to millions of people. Originality is vital when it comes to your designs, so make sure you do not cheat. Your designs should be something that only you would create. Then, you can express your feelings with your design ideas.
Is your company's original logo design available?
Whenever you decide to redesign your current logo, you should ensure that your new design differs from the old one. You may also want to change the color of your new logo. If you want your new logo to be different from the old one, you should ensure it is original.
Moreover, don't use a stock photo or a picture of somebody else's logo. It may be OK to use a picture or clipart that you can easily edit may be OK. But avoid copying the logo design of another company or person.
Choose a Copyright Symbol
A copyright symbol tells people what is protected by copyright law. For example, you can copyright a logo you create as long as it is original. The logo has to be your own, and you cannot just copy someone else's logo. A copyright symbol is also used on documents containing information protected by copyright law.
In this case, a copyright symbol would be on a document like a manuscript or a newsletter. The government requires copyright symbols protect the information on documents like manuscripts.
Some designers use their names in the copyright notice; others do not. Traditionally, the designer uses the “TM” symbol for trademark and the “©” symbol for copyright. The designer also includes a copyright year and location of copyright.
For example, “TM 2012, LLC” indicates that the trademark belongs to 2012, LLC. The copyright is filed in the United States, but not necessarily in that state. Copyright symbols and information must be included when filing a trademark application. Or copyright registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Register your copyright at the US Copyright Office
In order to register a logo design's copyright, you should go to one of two places. The first place is through the government. There are three things you can do with a US Copyright Office registration.
Any person who violates your copyright can be sued.
If anyone uses your logo without your permission, you can sue them.
You can get up to $150,000 (or a bit less depending on the length of the work) for registering your logo design copyright.
However, the second place to register your logo design copyright is with the US Copyright Office. You can get a copyright number for $35. When you submit your application within 30 days, you will receive it for free. You can register your design work online at https://www.copyright.gov/create/. You must pay the registration fee when submitting your application.
In conclusion, you must be mindful of copyright laws when designing a logo. If you don’t use a registered logo, your brand could be trademarked, and you’ll lose all of your rights to it. However, if you’re creating a trademark and are unsure where to start, this guide shows you where to begin. We'll get started right away.
I hope this lesson was hopefully interesting for you. You can definitely benefit from it. The important thing is to follow the tips to accomplish your goals.
Is the Copyright Office required to register my logo design?
Registration with the Copyright Office is required for your design logo.
The Copyright Office registers logos; copyrighting logos is the opposite?
The term "copyright" refers to the exclusive right to use the logo. Registering a logo with the Copyright Office is not a requirement, but it does allow you to file a claim if someone else uses your logo.
Why should I copyright my design logo?
Copyrighting your design logo gives you ownership over the design and protects your intellectual property rights.
Can I copyright my design logo online?
Yes, you can copyright your design logo online at www.copyright.gov.
How do trademarks and copyrights differ from design logos?
Trademarking is when you use a logo connecting with your business or product. Copyrighting is when you have exclusive rights to use a logo for a specific period.