Trademarks and logos are huge assets for any business and there are always people in the market who are ready to steal or copy your intellectual property. Companies such as Apple, Samsung and many more spend incredible resources and huge amount of protecting their logos and brand name. The only way to achieve protection is registering your intellectual property through a copyright, trademark or both. It may take time to get final approval for a trademark or copyright, but starting the process preserves rights to ownership and gives you a legal remedy in case of infringement. If you don’t have a trademark or copyright you may not be able to sue another party for infringement on your logo easily.
Trademark or Copyright
Basically, a trademark protects logos and slogans or words while a copyright protects creative intellectual design. For example- Apple is trademarked and so is iPhone. But sometimes apart from Trademark, a brand has many facets that acts as source identifiers or basically are features that identify for products, that may range from distinctive packaging, unique designs of package or special colors. Like for example in case of Cadbury chocolates, the color purple is distinctive color, and in case of iPhones the white box packaging is distinctive and is mostly identified with apple products. These features constitute part of copyright and hence, most brands go for both Trademarks and copyright.
However, the copyright doesn’t protect short phrases often found in a logo; that is protected by the trademark. This leads to a question why a company might need both in a logo design? If the logo is extremely fancy and an original artistic creation, it might qualify for both trademark and copyright.
Basically, In order for a work to have copyright protection, it must reach a requisite level of creativity. However, many logos do not qualify this requirement. Since copyright can’t protect a name, colors or the design of the logo, most simple logos simply do not have the required level of creativity to be considered copyrightable. As all the logo doesn’t qualify for registration under the copyright because copyright is given for the creative design and not the words. For example- Mercedes logo, Jaguar logo is copyright and the words are trademark.
Further, Trademarks must be renewed every 10 years if not in use, with the filing completed between the ninth and 10th year. With use, trademarks last forever. Copyrights for individuals as owner last 60 years after the death of the original creator. Works created for hire have a copyright life of 95 years or 120 years from the date of publication, whichever is shorter.
WHY TRADEMARK AND COPYRIGHT BOTH ARE IMPORTANT?
If you only copyright your name or logo without trademarking it, you cannot fully protect it against infringement. You’re only securing your rights to it since it is something you have created and it is your intellectual property. A trademark can protect your name and logo in case someone else wants to use them for their own purposes.
Also, you cannot really copyright a name, since copyright protects only artistic works supported with some level of creativity. This is exactly why you need to have a trademark that protects your company’s intellectual property, such as your logo.
Thus, A trademark is meant to protect a word, phrase, symbol or a design (or may be a combination of all these), that classifies and distinguishes the goods or services from those of the others. Sometimes, a distinctive logo is eligible for both a trademark and a copyright protection. Trademarks include company names, slogans, logos and designs that are used to identify and distinguish a company’s goods from others in the trade of business. The physical mark may be a word, a sign, symbol or a design that help to identify the trademark owner. A copyright is obtained in order to stop others from using your creation without your consent.
In case you have secured your brand name, you may proceed with protection of your distinctive logo, color combination or may be your unique packaging under copyright registration.
Now, in case you see that your product or service is not just identified with brand name but also is associated with Packaging, color or any other feature, you shall file for copyright.
But, filing for copyright for goods or service related products, requires an additional requirement of obtaining Trademark NOC, otherwise your copyright application will be rejected.
Thus, a logo is a trademark but a person can file a copyright for the same but the person have to take a NOC from the trademark for which the fees is Rs.9000 and when you receive NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from the trademark then only you can apply for the copyright for your goods trademark or packaging. Thus, a logo can be protected as both, a copyright and a trademark. For additional protection, it is recommended that it be filed as both, a copyright and trademark.
This is because copyright and trademark registration grant different type of rights to you and both are important and relevant in case of a logo.
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