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who owns coyright of logo me or hired design company

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:31 pm
by varelle
This is all new to me, so want to know who legally owns the copyright of a logo. The design company that produced it and has been payed
(I was invoiced for miscellaneous trademark design works as well as for design developemnt logotyepe assets for identity).

Any adivice or guidance on how to find out is much appreciated.

thank you.

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:23 pm
by CopyrightAid
Copyright will automatically belong to the creator of the work, unless they:

1: Are creating this work as part of normal employment - in which case copyright will belong to the employer.
Note: The employer really means the employer (i.e. the company that pays the PAYE/NI contributions provides the P60/P45, etc) - freelance work does not count.

2: Have agreed as part of the contract or terms of service to hand over ownership of copyright.

In your situation, I would guess that unless there is some agreement to the contrary, the design company will own the copyright.

If in doubt - you could always ask them ;)

This is all new to me
May I recommend the following external link: ... yright_law - a rather good factsheet that explains the basic principals.

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:24 pm
by CopyrightAid
P.S. I have deleted your post in copyright basics as it looked like a duplicate of this..

if design company owns the copyright how am I protected.

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:30 pm
by varelle
Thank you for that valuable information, wich brings me to the next qustion:

If the design company owns the copyright of my logo, how does that protect me using the logo in the long term. Can they stop me using it at some point? Say we build a brand on it and grow it, could they pull the plug?

Thank you.

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:27 am
by CopyrightAid
If the design company owns copyright, it does not protect you - it protects them.

Some typical scenarios may be:
1. They do the work, you don't pay, they pull the plug.
2. They do the work, you pay, they hand over copyright.
3. They do the work, you pay, they license you to use the logo without restriction.

I am afraid that I cannot second guess how your design company deals with such matters. The details of all of this should be covered in the terms of your contract with the design company - this really is a matter you need to discuss with them.

Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:03 pm
by tiddlewiddle
It's also somewhat new to me... Logo is here the final product and copyright belongs to creator right ?

But the design company asked the designer to do it on it's behalf so is the creator ?

Would it be possible to ask a design company to realize their work on your behalf so you even would get the moral rights ? After all it's your brand, you gave them indications and you had the original idea this design was based upon.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:15 am
by CopyrightAid
It is possible to get the design company to transfer the rights to you.. But this is something you need to discuss with the design company.

In many cases the company will be happy to hand over their rights once they receive payment, but you need to clarify this with them and ensure that such conditions are included in the contract.

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 pm
by BillytheFish
All good advice but I would add this (but please bear in mind that I have just skimmed this thread quickly. It's late and I've only just re-discovered this forum):

If you commissioned the design company to create a logo for you for your use as a trade mark (and that your intention to use the logo as such was obvious and in their contemplation at the time they priced this work for you), it is arguable (barring any contract to the contrary) that you have an implied license to use the logo as such.

This won't be an exclusive license if it's not in writing (so the design company, if it does indeed hold the copyright in the Logo, could license or sell its rights in the logo to others) but if you register the logo as a trade mark, or build up a significant reputation with the mark in the field, it may be possible to stop third parties from using the logo for similar goods or services.

However, this could throw up all sorts of headaches for you, so the probable best course of action would be to search for your contract with the design company and find out who actually owns the copyright. They may have their terms and conditions on the back of their invoice.

If it isn't clear, I would contact the design company and see what their take is. If they wish you to pay an extra fee to purchase copyright outright, this would probably be well worth doing (although only you can know whether this is the case or not).

One last thing before I go to bed: copyright assignments MUST be in writing. If you don't have a bit of paper (or possibly an e-mail, but paper is safer) saying that the design company has transferred title to the copyright in the logo to you, you don't own it!