Any creative content or creation can be copyrighted to protect the rights of their owner. As a businessman, one of the most precious assets in your company is your logo. This is your point of identification, and people will associate with and recognize your brand when they see your logo.
The good news is that you can acquire a copyright application for your unique brand symbol the moment you draft it. By registering your copyrighted logo, you’ll have better control of how to deal with people who use or plagiarize your brand symbol. In fact, you can sue anyone who uses your logo without your permission in federal courts.
Consider this straightforward guide to copyrighting your business logo:
1. Understand The Limitations Of Copyright
Business logos can be copyrighted to protect them and provide legal permission to those you allow to use them. However, before creating a company logo, it’s wise to be familiar with copyright restrictions. Let your design team know what components aren’t allowed to be copyrighted. For instance, these include names, calendars, symbols, slogans, or lettering and coloring variations. However, these can be trademarked instead. But, that’s a whole different process.
It’s essential to understand the difference between copyright and trademark. A simple comparison between the two is that trademarks protect a brand or product’s unique identification, like your business logo. In contrast, copyright protects specific works from being copied, reproduced, or distributed.
2. Prepare Your Logo
The next step is to prepare your logo. As much as possible, create a sufficiently unique and creative logo. Whatever profitable business ideas you have, ensure that your logo stands out. As mentioned, certain names, color variations, and other existing works can’t be protected by copyright alone. Hence, a logo must consist of an original and creative design that qualifies for copyright.
When designing a logo, ensure to create one from scratch, without referring to anyone else’s, to prevent getting your copyright application rejected. Try to find out if the logo has already been registered or used as a trademark. You can research copyright office sites and trademark databases online and check whether a similar logo already exists. To be sure, you can search state, federal, international, and private trademark databases for matching trademarks.
Almost all copyright owners fail to register their rights, so chances are that even if you don’t find them in these databases, there might actually be some logos that can be designed similarly to yours. To prevent this, it’s best to craft a logo that’s unique and formulated without references to anything. Also, another tip when creating a logo is to avoid generic designs, such as having your brand name drawn with a circle or shape around it. This will only give you a hard time copyrighting it, as it’s too generic.
If you want to copyright a logo, be sure that your design qualifies under the ‘artwork’ category for logo copyright protection. The more complex the symbol is, the better your chances of getting it copyrighted for you.
3. Register With An Online Copyright Engine
Ultimately, one great advantage of copyright is that your business logo will be in the public record. Therefore, the next step is registering it with an online copyright engine. While this step can be done through conventional copyright application methods, such as an on-site visit to your city’s copyright office, it takes more time as they go through appointment-based systems. This will take up a lot of time, and there are still chances that a few mistakes will be made. Then, it means you have to set up another appointment until you can finally get your copyright registration right. Fortunately, there’s another option.
Alternatively, you can find a company that’ll handle the process from start to finish for you if you don’t have the time or patience to do so yourself. This online service provider can assist you with your copyright registration. The process is straightforward, and every step is transparent. They even come with packages that allow you to save for your copyright and trademark registrations.
If you go for this easier alternative, you can expect the following procedures:
The copyright registration process starts with you filling out a company-provided questionnaire. This is brief and can be finished in less than ten minutes.
Compiled Application Forms And Requirements
You must submit all the requirements the provider requires, such as your high-resolution logo, personal information, and other details. The provider will process the official application on your behalf, and they’ll send them to you for review and approval.
Filing Of Application
Finally, after review and approval, you can send the files back, and the provider will file your copyright application to the rightful office. Depending on the duration, you’ll need to wait for the government to review and assess your copyright request. It can take up to 13 months for the government to process your request.
An important reminder is that you’ll be granted logo copyright from the date you submit your form, regardless of how you apply for it. Therefore, it’s imperative to take note of the dates so you’ll know when to reapply for copyright again.
4. Extend Your Logo Copyright Protection
After your logo has finally been copyrighted, you can now entertain the idea of extending your logo copyright protection. After all, as previously mentioned, the validity of your copyright started already since the day you filed your application. Thus, it makes sense to extend its protection even more. Additionally, only one country can enforce your copyright claim, depending on where you filed it.
You must also apply for protection in other locations if you wish to take your business and logo abroad. However, there’ll be different procedures and steps depending on their copyright conditions. It’d be best to seek your attorney’s advice if you want to widen your copyright protection worldwide.
Additionally, when expanding your logo copyright protection, you can also consider whether you want to obtain trademark rights. The USA supports the protection of trademarks for as long as your logo continues to be associated with your services or goods.
A company logo is what identifies your brand, so it’s paramount that you protect it as much as you can. Fortunately, copyrighting can be done in easy steps, as mentioned in this article. However, a trademark is also necessary if you want to extend its protection. Learn about trademarking your logo to ensure no other company will imitate your brand and poach your customers.