Copyright Assignment for Logos?
A trade mark often consists of a logo, think NIKE stripe ®, PUMA cat ®, MERCEDES star ®. This image can be instantly recognisable and evoke immediate thoughts and feelings linked to the brand. This logo is not only a trade mark but also has copyright.
Generally speaking, if you have an employee draw up your logo, you as the employer, own the copyright. However, as often happens, if you engage your local graphic designer to draw up your new logo or graphics, the designer owns the copyright in your new logo. You have an implied licence to use the logo for the purpose you engaged your designer to create your logo. To transfer the copyright to you, a written assignment, which identifies the logo, must be executed by your designer.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of having the copyright in your logo assigned to you and thereby, you owning both the trade mark and copyright, is that if someone infringed your logo, you can sue them for both, trade mark and copyright infringement. This may be beneficial if someone copies and adopts your same logo, who is in a different industry. That is, your trade mark rights are limited to your goods and/or services or in some instances, similar goods and services to which your trade mark is registered. Also, of course, the graphic designer can then not provide the logo to someone else, who perhaps, is in a different industry (which of course, is very unlikely anyway).
© Kerry Newcomb 2007
For more detailed information about about Assignment of Copyright in logos, contact:
Trade Mark Attorney
PO Box 254, Spring Hill, Brisbane QLD 4004
p: 07 3369 4020
f: 07 3367 8351
m: 0402 971 662