Logos are an essential part of any company, but sometimes people forget that they are also copyrightable. 

Copyright provides legal protection and ownership, and it can be used to stop someone from using or reproducing your logo without your consent. 

This article discusses the implications of not copyrighting a logo.  If you think your company’s logo may have some value, it may be worth it to invest in protecting that trademark by copyrighting it.

But before that, do you know what’s the difference between Copyright and Logo? 

​What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection for works, including literary, artistic, and musical creations.  It is the legal right, given to an author or creator of a work, to provide exclusive and limited rights over their creations.

These rights are not granted to other people without permission. One of these rights is the reproduction right, which prohibits reproducing someone else’s work without permission.

Copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author and this term can be extended if owned by a Corporation. 

What is Logo?
A logo is a company’s trademark. Many people confuse the two terms, but they are not interchangeable.

Logos are often used to identify companies or products in marketing campaigns, while trademarks are legal documents that protect brands. Trademarks prevent companies from using the same name for their product, and logos can be offensive in certain contexts.

For example, when people see Apple’s logo without knowing what it stands for, many think of it as an innovative company.

Now that you know the difference, what are its implication if you didn’t copyright your logo? Read on and let’s find out! 

Unintended Consequences of Uncopyrighted Logo

Every day, billions of dollars are spent on advertising campaigns by companies to make sure they are known in the world. These campaigns include logos, catchphrases, and slogans. However, when these logos or phrases are not copyrighted, there will be unintended consequences.

Imagine this…

You paid $500 to a designer to create a design related to your company. Then, you infused this design into your company logo. More than 20 years later, after your company has grown its size, you were sued by the same designer for a copyright lawsuit.

Tragic story right? This story was what happened to Sweetwater Brewing Company.
Graphic designer Ray Scott Fuss sued its founder Frederick Bensch and Sweetwater along with a demand of $31 million for a copyright lawsuit. He asserted that he designed the trout design in 1996, which was infused by Sweetwater to its Logo.

To keep the story short, Sweetwater asked the federal court to declare that it can continue its own trademark usage.

See the full article here: Do You Own the Copyright in the Artwork Used to Create Your Trademark? A $31 Million Question!

​​​Logos are an important part of any company’s branding. A logo can help a company stand apart from competitors, convey its message, and make customers recall the product or service only by looking at the logo.

If you are creating a logo for your business, it is essential that you copyright this logo before using it in any way. Copyrighting your logo will not only protect your design but also prevent anyone else from copying and avoid implications like Sweetwater Brewing Company.

How can we help you?

Stokes Law Group is here to serve you.

The firm offers services for all types of copyright protection, offering valuable legal counsel. The firm has extensive knowledge in copyright law, trademark law, and intellectual property rights. With many years of experience in these areas, we are eager to offer our expertise to you. 

Schedule a call here