Should you trademark or copyright your logo?

copyright logo registered trademark Apr 05, 2021

People often times have questions about whether or not they should obtain a copyright or a trademark for their logo. Trademarks and copyrights are both forms of intellectual property but the scope of protection for each one is different, so depending on what you are looking to protect will determine whether or not you should seek copyright or trademark protection. 

Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, designs or a combination of any of those, that are associated with your products or services that you offer in the marketplace. If you are using your logo in connection with those goods or services, then you would want to seek trademark protection of the logo. Trademark protection will grant you exclusive ownership of the logo as used in association with your products or services. This means other people would be prohibited from using a logo that is the same or confusingly similar on related goods or services.  

Copyrights are original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Examples of copyrightable material include books, songs, architectural works, paintings, and sculptures. The design of your logo is considered a work of art and capable of copyright protection. Because trademark protection only extends exclusivity of the design in relation to the goods and services provided, the design otherwise remains unprotected in any other aspect. Copyright protection is important to prohibit others from copying your design in any way and its exclusivity is not limited to your products and services but extends to any unlawful copying or distribution. 

Ultimately, to gain the most comprehensive protection, you should obtain both a trademark and a copyright for your logo. But if you have no intentions of using your logo design outside of branding purposes, an official copyright registration certificate may be unnecessary, especially because copyright protection exists at the moment of fixation and doesn’t require registration for protection. However, copyright registration will grant you additional rights


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