Last Updated on December 10th, 2020
Have you ever heard about logo design rights? Well, they surely exist and there is no denying the fact. The debate is not if they exist or not – the main debate is on the ownership of the logo. One might assume that since the brands pay for the logo, it’s their property. However, it can get more complicated than this.
Many times the designer does not transfer the rights of the logo to the designer based on a variety of reasons and that can complicate things for the business owner. In such a case, the brand owners have to take the case to the court.
Logo plays a huge role in setting the image of the brand and if it’s not done right, the customers can get confused. Businesses must take every precaution to make sure that the logo only belongs to them instead of the designer.
Although it might seem small at the moment, the problem can raise threats to the business in the future. So, if you are a business owner and are looking to get a logo, then you’ve to go the extra mile to make sure everything is done correctly.
In this article, you will learn everything about logo design ownership to logo design rights, so make sure that you read it till the end to not miss out on any information.
Take an example – you go to someone to buy a car. Although the person gives you the car but denies to transfer it to your name. Is it a fair deal? Even though you are paying for something yet it does not belong to you fully. Not right, eh?
The same is the case with logo design ownership, which is why logo design rights exist in the first place. Paying off the logo designer to use the logo is another thing and legally owning the logo is another. If your designer fails to transfer the ownership of the logo to you, then there is no way that you hold any legal ownership of the logo.
Now, coming to the worst part. Some logo designers are doing it without any hesitation. The sad thing is that not a lot of people are aware of the logo design rights that exist to protect the brand owner. Without the proper knowledge of it, you can bring a lot of bad luck with your business.
Don’t overlook logo design ownership and it’s best to discuss it with the designer beforehand to avoid any possible problems in the future. Now that you know what logo design ownership is, let’s move to other parts.
Why do you think that logo design ownership is important? Why is there a need to fight over logo design ownership? You are already using the logo, then why should you go to a courtroom to fight for its ownership as well? Why is logo ownership of concern to business owners? Well, there are plenty of reasons.
Before we start mentioning why logo ownership is important, as brands you need to understand why the logo is important. A logo is key to generating a strong first impression. There’s a whole science behind developing a good logo to ensure that the customer grabs the idea of the business. Your logo creates the base of your brand, therefore, it’s necessary to pay attention to it.
If you are wondering that you can always get a new logo, then you’re wrong on so many points. Your brand needs one logo and if take to fight for it, don’t hesitate to do that. Imagine if you’re running a business for 25 years with the same logo and one day the designer comes and tells you that you don’t hold its ownership. What’s the first thing that will come to your mind? Disaster!
Hence, there is a need for every business to ensure that logo ownership is in their name to avoid any last-minute problems. Here are some reasons why logo design ownership is important.
When the client has ownership of the logo, there is less chance of any kind of infringement. When it’s under your name, you can easily get it trademarked and get the copyrights. The client can get the logo trademarked from the local registry dealing to ensure that no one else uses the logo instead of them. In case someone dares to do it, you can sue them as it is a criminal offense. With the logo, ownership comes mental peace that no one can ever use your logo for their benefit.
Do you think that logo design is not crucial to your business? You are making a huge mistake by thinking like it. When it comes to logo designing, your brand is represented by a simple small logo. Imagine if Ferrari or McDonald’s kept changing their logo – what kind of impression will it leave on the customer? As a business owner, you need to understand that your brand is important and that a logo is a very much part of your brand marketing. You need to have all the freedom in the world to use your logo as you like, so don’t be in any rush to finalize your logo without discussing logo ownership with the designer.
When everything is in place, then you don’t need to worry about confronting your designer from time to time. Saving time and money is the goal, so don’t compromise on it. With everything in place, you won’t have a designer knocking at your door to threaten you or steal your rights from the logo. Since you are paying the designer, you don’t have to go through a whole process of design ownership. If you want to save your time from the argument, then this is what you need!
An important read for you: 9 professional logo design benefits you hardly know about
One must wonder – why would a designer not transfer the ownership of the logo to the client? They are getting paid for the service, then what’s the reason that they don’t want to transfer the ownership of the logo? Well, there are many reasons, but the first is selfishness. However, not all designers work under the same principle. Every other designer has their reason to not allow logo ownership to the client. If you are wondering what those reasons could be, then here are some for you.
Are you possessive about your brand? I am sure you are. As human beings, we tend to be possessive about things that belong to us or things that are our work. One reason why logo designers do not transfer ownership to the client is that they are possessive about their work. Yes, anyone could be, but that does not mean that it should stop them from transferring the ownership.
Imagine if the textile designers or fashion designers do not give ownership of their work to their clients? What if content writers claim the content to be theirs when it’s posted on the client’s website? Everyone is getting paid for their services and unnecessary possessiveness is not healthy to run a business. The client needs to discuss ownership before hiring a designer for their business.
As weird and troublesome it sounds, it happens at times. Some designers like to keep an upper hand on their work, which is why they deny transferring the ownership of the logo to the client. Some shameful people in the industry do not mention the thing about ownership in the contract and then ask for royalty when the advertising begins. For clients, it’s necessary to be aware of people like this in the market.
Some designers like to keep their options open. Some designers like to get inspiration from their previous logo designs, which is why they never transfer the logo ownership to the client. When this is the case, the designer must acknowledge the client of this practice before working with them. There is no reason why anyone should use previous designs to craft new designs. So, if that’s the case, it’s better to get another designer on board with your brand.
This part of the article is more about personal opinion than to discuss what’s right. For me, I believe that the client should own the logo since they pay for the service. The designer received the fees and now they are out of the picture once the work is delivered. The designer no longer holds any right over the logo design once they are done with it.
In this world, everyone is providing service to another in the professional world. If we apply the logic of design ownership to be of designer’s, then it can ruin the whole professional world. Imagine if everyone asks for ownership of their work although they are being paid for it?
The problem starts to arise when the terms and conditions are not clear between the designer and the client. There are several logo designers that are hired on a freelance basis and often these things are not paid attention to. When this is the case, then problems are bound to arise.
It’s important for business owners to remember that without a work contract, the work eventually belongs to a designer. If you want to avoid the situation, then it’s best to discuss the critical aspects of the work before it takes you down.
So, one can say that the logo design actually belongs to the client until and unless there’s no work contract or it is not discussed before. Don’t miss out on discussing logo ownership if you don’t want to be robbed of your rights in the future.
Copyrights give exclusive ownership rights to the client, so if you’re looking to get it done, then here is how you can do it.
It’s important that you let the designer know about the copyright. Getting a copyright is necessary if you want to preserve the design for your business only. By doing so, the designer cannot use your design anywhere else.
Make sure to use the copyright symbol on the logo to let people know that the logo is registered and the person can be sued for using their property. All you have to do is own the work before you start publishing it.
Understand the concept of infringement and how it can damage your brand’s identity. If someone is using a part of your design, then it comes under infringement and you can sue the person for doing so.
You can always ask for compensation for the infringed work from the party that used your property. It’s important to read all about the copyright logo design laws before starting to put blame on a person.
If a person tries to violate the copyright, make sure that you register a complaint with the relevant authority by filling out the form and following their procedure.
Copyright is a critical aspect of the business and unless you have something under your name, you can freely use it for yourself. Whenever you’re working with a designer, make sure to discuss copyrights.
Logo, in reality, belongs to the client; however, the situation can get complicated at times. If you want to avoid any risks to your business, then it’s best to discuss everything about copyright before you hire a designer. Choosing the right designer can be tough, but it’s not impossible.
Always remember to sign a contract with the designer to be clear on infringement, copyright, and ownership problems. Unless it’s discussed in detail, there will always be room for uncertainty in the future.
Make sure to clear the way from any kind of trouble to your brand in the future. Learn more about the copyright laws to be aware of every possibility.
You can get the best logo design made for your brand from FullStop, which is one place for professional custom logo design. You will hold the exclusive rights of the artwork. FullStop gives a copyright transfer letter once the project is completed. Make sure that your logo stands out in the crowd, then why not take professional help? Get in touch with me now!
Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.
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