A logo is a recognizable sign that allows you to distinguish a business from others in the market. Companies have long known to take its development seriously. But what is the right way to get the rights to the finished work and register the logo in order to protect your trademark if a competitor starts using it or the designer wants to resell it?
Check for Uniqueness
When the business receives a ready-made logo from the designer, it must be checked for the possibility of registering it as a trademark with Rospatent. The main thing is its uniqueness.
For starters, the logo can be checked in search engines by image. There should not be the same or similar pictures. But this is only a superficial study.
Then you can independently check the logo in the FIPS open registries, or you can pay specialists for the examination. They will carefully check the logo for uniqueness in all possible bases. This will save time and also ensure that the logo is not stolen.
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Transfer of Copyrights
After checking the logo, you need to organize the transfer of rights to it, since initially the image belongs to the designer or the agency in which he works. The right of authorship remains with the creator forever, but exclusive rights are transferred to the customer.
To clarify, if the logo uses a font (most often it is), you should ask the designer where he got it. If the font is not free or created for you, then a license is required to use it. You need to ask the designer about its availability in order to avoid problems during registration.
There are two ways to transfer the copyrights.
1. Author’s order or contract agreement
The document is concluded when creating a logo for the requirements of the business. In the contract, it is necessary to fix the condition about the transfer of exclusive rights to the customer, as well as the possibility of registering the logo as a trademark after transfer and verification.
It is worth considering that the contract of the author’s order is concluded with individuals (freelancers). When working with a legal entity, you need to conclude a contract.
2. Contract for the alienation of exclusive rights
The document is concluded with the designer or agency when transferring the logo to the customer. The contract stipulates that from the moment of signing, only the customer can use the logo for commercial purposes.
Both an author’s order or contract agreement and an exclusive rights alienation agreement are popular options, but they require careful drafting of documents. Ideally, you need a lawyer to check the finished copy before signing. Then the businessman will be sure that he can now dispose of the logo.
Otherwise, problems may arise. Let me give you an example: one small coffee shop ordered a logo from a designer. The business owner was satisfied with everything, he accepted the job and began to use the image. But for some reason, the parties did not formalize the transfer of exclusive rights. The businessman carelessly forgot about it, but the designer decided not to remind him.
As a result, six months later, the designer sold this logo again, changing only the name. The owner of the first coffee shop saw this and was indignant. He turned to a lawyer, but it turned out that he could not forbid another coffee shop to use the logo, because the exclusive rights did not belong to him.
Registering the logo will allow the business to use it for their products, as well as prohibit others from using it (or equivalents). In case of violation of rights, the copyright holder will be able to go to court and prove his innocence.