An Innocent Error

On September 4, 2013, in Business Problems & Services, by admin

logo design waterloovilleIf you are looking to set up a new business and engage with someone to design a logo for print or even for a website, as a director or company owner you would probably presume that once you have paid your hard earned money over to the designer, you would actually own the rights to the logo?

The truth is no, although it can be an easy mistake to make, this is not the case. Under The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, it makes it very clear that the author of the work, for example the designer actually becomes the copyright owner, and not the business or director who actually commissions or pays for the work to be done.

We at setting up a business recently found out that the smoothie brand called Innocent drinks had similar difficulties themselves. The company in question actually lost its distinct ‘halo’ logo after it was trademark was invalidated. This was because they were under the completely false assumption that they owned the full copyright in the logo. Back many years ago in 1998 they hired a company to create their perfect logo design, with a briefing on what they were looking for and thus how the design was created.

With many issues arising in promised share returns, the trademark was subsequently cancelled and the copyright void. Accordingly to our sources the court actually made short work of finding that the copyright actually existed in the logo and that the design company was the original owner of the copyright because it had done the work.

When it comes down to owning a copyright, make sure that any third party assigns all their rights in the work over to your business, we suggest this is done from the outset. For this to be actually valid, it must be in writing, with dates, signatures and what was involved. This also includes and applies to anything designed by a third party by your company, including website design, brochures, adverts, photographs or anything similar.

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