Continuing from the previous article on logo design trademarking, we look at protections given under trademarking, your rights under the IPOS and unprotected situations.
Protections Given Under Trademarking
Trademarking guarantees specific rights upheld by the law meaning anyone who attempts to claim your logo or intellectual property as their own will face legal repercussions. In regards to logos, all you have to do is think up the idea, draw it, or commission it, and then it is yours. No one else can claim rights to it even if you pay an artist to draw it up for you. However, that doesn’t always stop people from stealing art or logos. Especially with social media and the number of people all over the world using the internet or social media regularly. Registering your logo or intellectual property of any sort beefs up the legality of ownership. If you register your logo in the Singapore then it will be registered under the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, or IPOS, creating a paper trail to look back on if the logo is ever falsely claimed.
Your Rights Under The IPOS
The benefits of registering your logo for a trademark with the USPTO are as follows:
- Public notification of trademark
- An easier transition to trademark your logo across the globe.
- The ability to pursue legal repercussions regarding copyright infringement involving your trademarked logo in court.
- Full ownership of trademark meaning you control what to put the logo on and when.
- The ability to prevent foreign markets from importing goods using your logo.
Despite the benefits of trademarking logos, there are some areas that are not covered. Generic logos, names, or brand names are not something that you can have sole ownership of. This is why playing with words and exploring alternative phrasing is a good way to go when thinking of branding. For example, if you want to start an ice cream shop and decide to name it ‘Best Ice Cream Shop’ you can’t trademark that because it’s an incredibly basic name. You can still make a logo featuring your shop’s name but you won’t be able to trademark it.
There is another side to trademark laws that allow the public use of your logo as long as it does not lead to any purchases or consumerism. This covers e-commerce as well. The Fair Use Doctrine grants the public access to logos for free which can be frustrating to some. If you want to learn more about it, what rights you have against usage, and examples of fair use we have a separate article about the subject. Not only does it cover the Fair Use Doctrine it covers what we believe is most important for all designers and artists to know regarding trademark and copyright laws.