In September of 2019, the Chinese blogging giant Weibu had to retract their brand-new Instagram-style application after it was revealed that the logo they were using was plagiarising a Korean design studio’s 2015 design. Designing the perfect logo for your business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Before sending your logo out into the great unknown, it is important you take the necessary steps to protect it to the best of your ability. In this article we discuss Simple Steps to Take to Keep Your Logo Design Safe.
Not only can it be very detrimental to the business if your logo is plagiarised, but also if you are unknowingly plagiarising someone else’s design. From improving your cybersecurity to trade marking your design, here is a closer look at how you can go about keeping your logo safe and secure.
Basic Cybersecurity is a Must
Before you even consider trade marking your logo you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your network and devices that you work on are as secure as possible. Enhanced cybersecurity in the workplace is the first and most effective step in securing your intellectual property. Investing in a good VPN can also prove to be extremely beneficial in protecting you while you access networks outside of the office. Although you will undoubtedly enjoy logging into your programs with a single click of the mouse, it does make you exceedingly vulnerable to hackers. Where possible, implement two-factor authentication policies for both company software and hardware to keep your most valuable property safe.
Decide Exactly What You Want to Trade Mark
Once you have decided that you want to trade mark your logo design and you have increased your cybersecurity, you need to put significant thought into what exactly it is that you want to trade mark. Evaluate which words and icons help to identify your brand, remembering that those that do not have a direct connection to your brand may end up being rejected. You are able to not only trade mark your logo, but also any combination of words, shapes, and colour combination. In actual fact, you are able to trade mark any design or emblem that sets your business apart from others. In order to ensure that the trade marking process is as simple and efficient as possible, ensure that your logo is as distinct as possible and directly linked to your product or service.
Conduct a Thorough Trade Mark Search
Trade mark infringement can result in legal action being taken against you, so it is therefore vital to find out whether your logo has been registered by someone else. Although this is highly unlikely if you are designing a logo from scratch, there have been instances where trade mark requests have been declined due to very similar logos already being registered. You can search for a trade mark in the UK through the website of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Searching can be done via a trade mark number, a phrase, an image, a keyword, or by owner name. Users are furthermore able to search through trade mark applications that were accepted in the last week.
Seek Legal Assistance
After ensuring that your logo is unique and that there is no possibility of you infringing on any trade marks, you can proceed with trade marking your own logo. Although it is possible to engage in DIY online trade marking, it is recommended to enlist the help of a professional to prevent any problems from arising later on. A trade mark attorney can be especially useful if you have found that some parts of your logo were previously registered or if you are aiming to get more than one logo registered at a time.When hiring an attorney be sure to check that they are listed at the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and do not hesitate to get a second opinion if you feel that it is required.
Finalise Your Trade Mark Application
When you are ready to complete your trade mark application you need to decide the geographical reach of your trade mark. Ask yourself whether you only need to protect your logo with the UK, or across the entire Europe. A trade mark that covers Europe (known as a community trade mark) cost nearly 250% more than a standard UK trade mark and can also take up to a year to process as opposed to the 5 months it takes for a UK-only one. Do some research and weigh up the pros and cons of each option before making a final decision.
Await the Results
Once you have submitted your trade mark request, an examining panel will verify whether or not it complies with all the necessary rules and regulations. As soon as your application is processed you will be informed whether it was successful or not. If it wasn’t a success you will have to sit down and re-evaluate your design, making changes where necessary to increase its chances of being approved in the future. If your application was a success, however, your logo will be fully protected and you can safely you are as required without having to worry about someone copying it.
Not all Logos Will be Trade Marked
Well trade marking your logo is a great way to protect it, there are instances where you may choose not to trade mark it. If you have big doubts pertaining to the longevity of a business it is understandable that you would want to wait before trade marking anything. If a logo is only going to be used on a temporary basis, there may also not be a need to have it trade marked although that could result in problems if you do decide it keep it in future just to find someone else has already registered it. Trade marking costs money and unless you are 100% that your logo reflects the ethos of the business, do not waste any time or finances on the trade marking process.
A lot of time and hard work goes into designing a logo with the ability to set your brand apart from the competition. Every effort, regardless of how tedious it may seem, should, therefore, be made to ensure that your intellectual property is well-protected at all times.
We hope these Simple Steps to Take to Keep Your Logo Design Safe has been helpful, and be sure to leave your comments below as we love to hear from our readers.
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