You may have two forms of intellectual property protection for your logo design. Trademark to prevent competitors and others from using it to cause confusion in the marketplace and Copyright to prevent most other unwanted copying.
Today almost all major nations follow the Berne Copyright Convention. For example, in the USA, almost everything created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not. So we should always assume that other people’s works are copyrighted and may not be copied.
But if you want to have a legal safety for your logo, it must reach a requisite level of creativity. Many logos, however, do not. Since Copyright can’t protect a name, colors or the design of the logo, most simple logos simply do not have the required level of creativity to be considered copyrightable.
A “qualifying work” is a:
– literary work
– a musical composition
– a film, a software program
– a painting
– or any of many other expressions of creative ideas
– but they protect only the expression itself and not the idea.
Neither publication, registration, nor other action is required to secure a copyright, although in some countries the “use of a copyright” notice is recommended, and in a few countries (including the United States) registration of domestic works is required in order to sue for infringement. So if you have one of the qualifying works mentioned above, you can follow this steps:
Go to copyright.gov (this is the american website – take a look at the end of the article if you find your country’s URL) and click on the eCo Online Registration button. This is the new paperless system for copyright filling.
Fill out the Form CO that takes your information, including name of the owner, the creator (if applicable) and the nature of the copyright document. In the case of a logo, the nature of the document is a drawing or graphic representation.
Upload the logo file. Acceptable files have the extension of *.pdf, *.gif, *.jpg or *.psd to name a few of the common files. You can check the complete list on the website.
Pay the registration fee.
Print out your confirmation. Your copyright will first have a “pending status”. Once it is approved, it is effective as of the date of registration.
Click on the country below to redirected to the specific Copyright Page:
Feel free to share other links on the commentaires or tell us how does it work in your country.