Business Logos: Protection through Trademarks and Copyrights

In this highly competitive environment, businesses have only extremely limited time in the order of seconds to impress the prospective customers that their products are more worthy than any of the products from competitors in the market. Logos offer a competitive edge to attract customers in these circumstances. A logo symbolizes a product, a company, or a business and is recognized as a property by the Law. They represent a point of differentiation that enables the customers to clearly identify a company’s brand.

To gain visibility with logos, details are extremely important. Significant attention must be paid to each and every element of the logo, including colors, shapes, and fonts. A well-designed logo conveys the quality of services and goods offered by a company, and the business background of a company, to the target audience. It also demonstrates the professional approach adopted by a company in conducting its business.

Copyright and Logos

Copyrights provide protection to the artistic, literary, and dramatic works. A logo that includes artistic or design elements, is legally regarded as being a work of artistic creation and therefore will be protected under copyright law. The protection offered by copyright has certain limitations as they do not protect the basic design elements of the logo. Also, the copyright protection is hard to defend because of the subjectiveness of the artistic work, but it can protect against the illegal copying of logos in entirety.

Trademark and Logos

Trademark is an intellectual property that distinguishes the goods or services of one business from that of the others. The key requirement for a trademark to be protected is highly dependent on its distinctiveness. Hence, it is always advisable to conduct a trademark search to ensure that the mark is innovative and distinct from the existing marks. Once a brand is protected through trademark, the law enables to impede the inappropriate use of the brand and also protects the right for trademark infringement lawsuits in case of an infringement.

Trademark is not limited to the brand names or slogans but can offer protection for the Logo itself. Further, it also offers protection to the elements of the logo, like names, fonts, colors, typography, shapes, etc., that are not protected by copyright. Protecting a logo with a trademark is vital in maintaining the brand equity that it can help to build and preventing the marketing of fraudulent copycat products.

Dual protection

Though Copyright and Trademark have their own limitations, they can work in tandem to offer protection of the logos that serve as the valuable tangible asset of a company or business. It is highly recommended for the newer companies/business enterprises, to protect their logos in the early stage itself along with the company registration, to ensure that they become valuable assets of the company once a brand has been solidly built.

Author: Govindhaswamy Srinivasan, a Principal Associate – Patents at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates, and IP Attorneys.  In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at support@ipandlegalfilings.com

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