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Logo Designs? - Protect by Trademark Registration

Facts: We were approached by a National Sporting Association. There had been a political split at board level and the ex-chairman had gone off and set up a competing association. He had written to the organisation telling then that they could not use the logo that they had used for over 20 years because he had designed it and the copyright in the design was his since it had never been assigned to the Association. Technically, this was correct because ownership of the copyright in any design will belong to the designer unless the designer is an employee or there is a written contract transferring copyright ownership. However, this did not stop the Association filing to register the logo design as a registered trademark which is what they did and which they were perfectly entitled to do since they had used the logo for over 20 years in the UK. For good measure we also protected the logo as a Community Registered Design thoughout the EU.
Moral:  Always protect logos and designs by trademark registration. You do not own the copyright in a design unless created by an employee or the copyright assigned to you in writing. Do not rely on copyright anyway because any design can be changed so that it does not infringe the original design. Logo registration as a trademark gives wider rights that are much easier to enforce
If you have a query please contact us today, our specialist lawyers will be pleased to help.
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