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View Full Version : Copyright or Trademark?? For a Graphic logo I designed for my Company....




VideoNewbie
Nov 8, 2010, 11:59 AM
so a search on google just makes things more "Gray" and obscure so i thought id ask u guys

ive created a graphic logo.... would a trademark or a copyright be best for this?

i read that if you have a company slogan or a unique company name you should trademark it ...but how about a graphic design logo?

why would someone pick a copyright over a trademark it seems like a trademark is more comprehensive? someone correct me if im wrong please



JasonR
Nov 8, 2010, 12:03 PM
You would trademark a logo and business name. If some one already has that trademark for the industry then you can't trademark it.

You can search active trademarks on the USPTO website.

lucidmedia
Nov 8, 2010, 02:42 PM
The purpose of a copyright is to protect works of authorship as fixed in a tangible form of expression (i.e. a thing not an idea). The art, photos, writing and design you make fall under this category. It protects people from copying or redistributing your work.

The purpose of a trademark is to protect words, phrases and logos used in federally regulated commerce to identify the source of goods and/or services. It represents an enterprise or a business. It protects your company from other companies trying to look like you. In the case your your logo, it would be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark or name.

It is common for certain types of expression (like a brand) to sit under both copyright and trademark. If you are trying to protect a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, generally you want a trademark as a copyright does not cover such types of expression alone.

If your design is intended to identify the source of goods or services (i.e. a logo), it should be trademarked.

While copyright registration is primarily an administrative process (you fill out a form and send it off), trademark registration is an adversarial process.
It includes a substantive review of potentially conflicting marks in order to prove your uniqueness within a market segment.

For example: say you are doing a trademark search for a local motorcycle tuner/builder called "Redwing Motorcycle Company". During the trademark vetting process you would probably get an argument from Redwing Shoes saying the name/mark is too close to theirs (Redwing does sell a series of Motorcycle boots, so they may have some grounds here even though they are in a very different market). You might also get a call from Honda saying "We are a large motorcycle manufacturer. We have a famous product line called the 'GoldWing'. Our corporate color is Red." You will have to fight it out.

Other companies will be aggressive in protecting themselves. US trademark law works under a "use it or lose it" principle. Read up on how Carol Shelby lost the rights to his famous Cobra car design. So many people copied it (without him going after them) that it was ruled that he no longer owned it.

So, understand that if you do seek a trademark, you need to be willing and able to protect it.

The key thing to understand is that Copyright and Trademarks are proven and protected in very different ways. Copyrights are low-hanging fruit and should absolutely be done. Trademarks are a longer, more expensive process and you want a good Trademark lawyer to guide you through the process.

VideoNewbie
Nov 11, 2010, 05:22 PM
The purpose of a copyright is to protect works of authorship as fixed in a tangible form of expression (i.e. a thing not an idea). The art, photos, writing and design you make fall under this category. It protects people from copying or redistributing your work.

The purpose of a trademark is to protect words, phrases and logos used in federally regulated commerce to identify the source of goods and/or services. It represents an enterprise or a business. It protects your company from other companies trying to look like you. In the case your your logo, it would be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark or name.

It is common for certain types of expression (like a brand) to sit under both copyright and trademark. If you are trying to protect a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, generally you want a trademark as a copyright does not cover such types of expression alone.

If your design is intended to identify the source of goods or services (i.e. a logo), it should be trademarked.

While copyright registration is primarily an administrative process (you fill out a form and send it off), trademark registration is an adversarial process.
It includes a substantive review of potentially conflicting marks in order to prove your uniqueness within a market segment.

For example: say you are doing a trademark search for a local motorcycle tuner/builder called "Redwing Motorcycle Company". During the trademark vetting process you would probably get an argument from Redwing Shoes saying the name/mark is too close to theirs (Redwing does sell a series of Motorcycle boots, so they may have some grounds here even though they are in a very different market). You might also get a call from Honda saying "We are a large motorcycle manufacturer. We have a famous product line called the 'GoldWing'. Our corporate color is Red." You will have to fight it out.

Other companies will be aggressive in protecting themselves. US trademark law works under a "use it or lose it" principle. Read up on how Carol Shelby lost the rights to his famous Cobra car design. So many people copied it (without him going after them) that it was ruled that he no longer owned it.

So, understand that if you do seek a trademark, you need to be willing and able to protect it.

The key thing to understand is that Copyright and Trademarks are proven and protected in very different ways. Copyrights are low-hanging fruit and should absolutely be done. Trademarks are a longer, more expensive process and you want a good Trademark lawyer to guide you through the process.


Hey i sent you a PM. pls check it when u get a chance thank u

VideoNewbie
Nov 29, 2010, 04:10 AM
Hey i sent you a PM. pls check it when u get a chance thank u


bump
lucidmedia never answered my pm..


any of his/her friends mind giving him a nudge?

i still need more concrete clarification on whether to trademark or copyright the logo for my company...

(ps i am 18 years old so need to make best decision by research done online dont currently have funds to hire a copyright lawyer to make the decision for me)

lucidmedia
Nov 29, 2010, 07:44 AM
The simple answer is that if your company is not making enough money to pay a trademark attorney, you don't need a trademark... these are business protections, and without revenue you have little to protect.

Even if you did pay for a trademark, it does not appear you would be able to protect yourself in court (a potentially far more expensive process)... this means that your trademark would soon be invalid because if you do not actively protect your trademark, you lose it.

The high cost of some of these processes can be seen as a deterrent to trademark squatting... not that much different than the people who buy up domain names hoping that someday they will be valuable.

In terms of your specific company (r.e. your PM), because of the strong possibility that many other entities share the same name, I do not think that you would be allowed to take ownership or copyright over it.

Consultant
Nov 29, 2010, 02:15 PM
The simple answer is that if your company is not making enough money to pay a trademark attorney, you don't need a trademark... these are business protections, and without revenue you have little to protect.

Even if you did pay for a trademark, it does not appear you would be able to protect yourself in court (a potentially far more expensive process)... this means that your trademark would soon be invalid because if you do not actively protect your trademark, you lose it.

The high cost of some of these processes can be seen as a deterrent to trademark squatting... not that much different than the people who buy up domain names hoping that someday they will be valuable.

In terms of your specific company (r.e. your PM), because of the strong possibility that many other entities share the same name, I do not think that you would be allowed to take ownership or copyright over it.

Agree, those who don't understand copyright or trademark should either read

http://www.copyright.gov/ and http://www.uspto.gov/

or hire a professional.

Macky-Mac
Nov 29, 2010, 02:19 PM
....i still need more concrete clarification on whether to trademark or copyright the logo for my company..)

Do you understand that you already own the copyright for your logo design?

Registering the copyright is both cheap and easy so it's worth doing as it does give you some additional leverage in protecting your rights as the owner of the copyright.

Blue Velvet
Nov 29, 2010, 02:23 PM
i still need more concrete clarification on whether to trademark or copyright the logo for my company...


No need to bother. You possess moral rights immediately upon its final form:

When is my work protected?

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Besides, to be frank, it's quite probable that your design will infringe on the copyright of others.

dilligafanyhoo
Dec 22, 2010, 08:34 AM
I know this may seem oftopic but I have questions concerning copyright images and trademarks. More specifically, I am a freelance artist and I occasionally a customer will request me to paint their child's favorite cartoon character.... I've gotten mixed feedback so far on the regulations for such things, and I have other questions relating to this post. This is my first time being on here and I'm not to familiar with how it works, so if you could email me at dilligafanyhoo@hotmail.com with your suggestions and knowledge I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much!