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Posts from the ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ Category

Copyright as it pertains to logos.

A question I am often asked is “who owns the copyright to a logo?” It was explained to me by a lawyer friend that it is helpful to understand that copyright refers to a “bundle” of several different exclusive rights. Certainly someone who has just had a logo designed for their company (or organization) wants to be free to legally trademark their mark. Does the designer retain any rights to the design? The answers to these questions should be clearly spelled out in a contract between the designer and the client. Read more…

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21 Oct 2010

Is it OK to use clipart in a business logo?

The legal snag that occurs when using clip art, whether it is free or Royalty Free, is that a business cannot copyright their logo. The reason for this is because the intellectual property rights of the art belongs to someone else.

Usage permissions at popular stock image agencies are spelled out in the licensing agreement. Be sure to read license restrictions, or prohibited use clauses that one must agree to before downloading art from stock houses such as iStockphoto, Getty Images and Corbis Images. They clearly state that such art cannot be used for trademarks and logos. These companies want to sell the same art over and over again, as many times as they can but they can spot a potential legal infringement and want to avoid that for themselves, their artists and the end users of the art – the buyers. Read more…

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12 Oct 2010

Free Internet Fish and the Public Domain

Linda told me she found the beautiful picture of fish on the internet. It was perfect for the project she was working on. It was 1996 and the web was rapidly moving into a visual realm after being text based. It was a bonanza of “free” content, photos, illustration and text. Read more…

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14 Aug 2010