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logo and strap line copyrights

 
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JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7746
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 07 11:28 pm    Post subject: logo and strap line copyrights  Reply with quote    

How does one go about checking whether you are infringing any copyright in logos or straplines for a company?

I am setting up (slowly but getting there) my new business and have customers and an idea of what I do but need to create a public face for the company. This means creating a company name (easy), logo and strapline. For the last two how would I go about checking whether someone else is already using that sort of logo. Mrs JB has done this in the past when she worked for a former career but then she just created the logos and passed the whole issue of legality over to some corporate lawyer.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 07 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Are you selling just locally or nationally?

If locally, then check the businesses in the same or similar trades, in your area to make sure what you want to use is not the same as them.

Words or slogans cannot be copyrighted, only the colour and font and layout can be made into a trademark. For example, McDonald's are not the only people on the planet, who can use the phrase "I'm lovin' it".

If selling nationally, then get your logo trademarked at http://www.patent.gov.uk/, they also have loads of information about copyright and trademarks, which you may find useful. If you try and use something that is already trademarked, they will tell you.

MarkS



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2626

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 07 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny wrote:
Words or slogans cannot be copyrighted, only the colour and font and layout can be made into a trademark.
...
If you try and use something that is already trademarked, they will tell you.


Not quite.
(Speaking as one who has been on the receiving end of M'learned friends.)

As I remember it, a trademark consisting of words in capitals automatically covers any and all uses of the words/name regardless of colour/font/logo etc.

While a search should throw up existing duplicates it wont always. Didn't for us.

Dont make our mistake and rely on a standard corporate solicitor to do this stuff for you. Having to change your name after spending 100K on marketing is a great way to screw up a start-up.

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