This article will out line the basics of copy rights and trademarks. I am often asked by the customer if they can copyright the logo?
A copyright “is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States(title 17, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” includingliterary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf)
The artist who created the logo legally has rights to the copyright but can transfer ownership through written agreement.
Check through this site to see what you can copyright and what you can’t copyright. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html
A Trademark “is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/trade_defin.htm
It is not required for you to register your mark aka logo with the federal government but if you do here are some benifits:
- constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark;
- a legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;
- the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
- the use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; and
- the ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
Click here http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/ to find the process on registering your mark/logo into a trademark.