Copyrights and intellectual property laws are something every business owner should be well versed with. Still only a few businesses understand that protecting logo copyrights is more important than protecting other business assets.
Also, the copyright laws are quite complicated and sometimes not easily understood by those without the technical know-how.
Your logo is the foremost identity of your business and protecting it is vital for survival of your business. A copyrighted logo protects your business from impostors and gives you the power to legally challenge anyone trying to gain advantage using your business identity.
Similarly, it is equally important you do not build up a business infringing on someone else’s identity.
Here are a few common issues that lead to logo copyright infringements.
Using a colour of a competitor’s logo with similar hues should be avoided. If their logo resembles yours from a distance due to same colour, you may be infringing on their logo copyrights.
Using common fonts is always fine. However, logos with common fonts lack identity and so the designers try using differently styled fonts to bring a character to the logo design. If this choice of font matches that with someone in your industry, especially if the part of name is similar sounding, it could lead to copyright issues.
You may have secured a different name for your business but it may partly be that of an existing brand. With that if you try to use similar colour or font, it could lead to copyright violation.
4. Shape or a unique style
Copying or mimicking a unique shape or a unique style of a logo to the extent that it could mislead the viewer is also a kind of copyright infringement.
Using exactly same or similar sounding tagline of another business can also lead to copyright infringement. Make sure your name and tagline is as original as possible.
To claim damages, in a copyright infringement case, the challenging party needs to prove some kind of direct or indirect commercial or reputational gain by the infringer.
If an infringement is proved, but the challenging party or the copyright owner is not able to prove any commercial gain by the infringer, it still has the right to completely bar the infringer from using the logo design.
Copyrights laws are taken very seriously by big businesses and many of them usually have a team to detect and deal with cases of copyright infringement. Therefore it is important that a new business must take logo copyrights very seriously as otherwise even an unintentional infringement could cost a fortune.