Here are things you need to know when it comes to logo theft!
A logo is a combination of an icon or image with text to show the identity of a business. Its function is to create company branding. Unfortunately, some interesting logos are stolen by competitors out there to be polished and then claimed as theirs.
The theft of intellectual property is an important concern because it harms several parties. Nowadays, everything can be seen easily via the internet. Access allows anyone to commit online plagiarism or intellectual theft, one of which is the theft of trade secrets, which is prone to happen.
How Does Logo Theft Happen?
A "logo theft" is an infringement that occurs when another party uses another party's trademark logo to claim to be theirs without permission. "Logo theft" does not mean stealing its overall form. However, this theft can occur under the following circumstances:
- The other parties steal logo templates belonging to other companies to use as their logo templates.
- Creating a logo that is similar to the original logo of another party makes consumers confused and think that the logo comes from a trademarked and similar company.
- Taking product logos from other trademarks to be placed on different products.
- Taking certain party logos and placing them on counterfeit products.
This case is quite common, especially in some clothing brands. Without using a fake logo, the party who faked the product certainly couldn't take action. Some logo thefts also occur due to graphic design issues.
What Are the Penalties for Logo Theft?
If you ask if logo thieves can get punished, you can be sure that thieves will still get punished. This is the same as any other form of violation that requires certain legal consequences.
There are some legal penalties for logo theft, such as prison sentences, confiscation of illegal products, criminal fines, and others.
On the other hand, accusations of theft of a logo can be defended by looking at the facts and circumstances. For example, several conditions make an accusation of logo theft less strong enough to allow a defense.
- A logo is not a valid trademark because it has never been used in trade.
- The consumer does not feel confused about distinguishing between the original logo and other logos that are considered to imitate or claim it.
- The logo of the original trademark is generic, so it does not specifically identify a particular company, product, or service.
In the last example, a company cannot file legal action against other parties who use the blue logo. Logo theft involves not only color but also visual design and words that resemble the original logo owner.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Overcome My Logo Theft Issue?
Some of the explanations above show that logo theft is one type of serious violation; it can even result in wide-ranging legal consequences. Letting other parties steal your logo is not a good thing because they will probably do it over and over again.
If you need answers or legal advice, hiring a lawyer could be the solution. The lawyer you hire will seek some information regarding the problem you are facing, then conduct legal research. Lawyers also have a role in providing you with representation when attending court or filing a logo theft lawsuit.
How to Prevent Logo Theft?
Having a unique logo is the desire of all business owners. Moreover, making a logo requires careful consideration that is not careless in making it. After successfully creating a unique logo, a company desires to introduce it to consumers as a form of legal statement that the icon is their business identity.
Unfortunately, there are irresponsible parties out there who might steal your unique logo. You must overcome this possible issue by taking the following precautions:
1. Make Use of Specifics
You know that generic logos are very susceptible to plagiarism. Some parties can recreate a generic logo by adding more details to their claim. If you add some specific details, the chances of getting stolen are lower. However, don't forget to keep the design simple, even if you add some details.
As an important consideration, you should use the services of an experienced and professional designer who can create the best logo. As professional graphic illustrators, they know how to create a logo that is clever, unique, and suitable for your brand.
However, consideration of certain elements must be an important concern because the choice of colors and icons will determine the personality of your business. Others also find it difficult to imitate your detailed elements.
2. Federal Trademark Registration
If your professional logo designer has completed the logo, then the icon will be legally yours to use as needed. As a business owner who has ordered a logo, you are eligible for federal registration of the logo.
Federal trademark registration can provide optimal protection from logo theft. You can use the logo thief because your logo has been registered as a trademark.
Also, make sure that you have a contract with the designer to not resell your logo, including one that has a similar design, because it will be detrimental to your party.
How to Know If My Logo Has Been Stolen?
Some companies don't get to know about their logo theft. This makes them ignorant about the reputation of the business that they might face as a result of the logo theft. As a business owner, you must anticipate the occurrence of logo theft with the two steps above.
In addition, it is important to know if your logo has been stolen. Here are two alternative ways that you can do it:
1. Using Google
Anyone can use Google to find various information, one of which is through Google image search to find information about your logo. Try to upload an image of your logo, then wait a while until the search engines find results that may be similar.
2. The Electronic Trademark Research Database
The next alternative you can use is to search for similar logos in a trademark database that is monitored by the Trademark Office.
How to Anticipate a Logo Theft
Designing a logo takes time, effort, and money. Especially if you use the services of an experienced logo designer, paying for a logo will cost quite a bit.
With all the sacrifices you make, logo design theft will drive you crazy. The key is that you have to anticipate it from now on so that your logo is not arbitrarily stolen by irresponsible parties. Here are some of the ways you can anticipate your logo being stolen:
1. Own Copyright
You can start creating a unique logo design by protecting it legally. Make a definite contract with the designer so that your design will never be used by another company. Make sure it is clearly stated in your contract agreement.
As discussed earlier, you may also register for a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in your state of residence. In registering a trademark, you will be charged certain fees, which can be higher than the cost of creating a logo. But in this way, your company logo has legal rights and protection.
2. Avoid using stock images
You know that some various sites or platforms provide lots of free and premium images. If you decide to design your logo, never take pictures of stock images or clip art. This is common. Many people may have a similar design to yours.
In particular, choosing stock images that are free because everyone uses them. If one day your company begins to be known by many people, a logo with an image from a free platform will only make your logo have many twins.
Some consumers may also think that you are not trying hard enough when making a logo design. This will only hurt your company's pride.
3. Using a Digital Watermark
A watermark is the most important thing that you should consider. By adding a digital watermark, you will tell people that the logo design is yours. Besides, it will also help you find the logo easily in an online search.
Giving a watermark on the logo can prevent theft because other companies cannot take it arbitrarily. Even some parties who want to steal your logo to put it on counterfeit products cannot steal the logo.
4. Working with One Logo Designer
It's important to collaborate with a professional logo designer. The reason is that professional designers know what to do when creating a logo design that is unique, different, and not stolen. Your company logo also looks better with the right designer.
Unlike when you use the services of a random designer or create your design, this is even more dangerous for your logo in the future. Some may steal your logo idea, or maybe you are considered to have stolen their logo idea.
How to Create a Unique Logo That Can't Be Stolen
An attractive visual design often attracts the attention of many people. Some people even try to steal the logo and claim the design as their own. This is because of the availability of these images, which are widely circulated in many places, for the most part, on the internet.
You can prevent that from happening by creating a logo design that is unique and can't be stolen, so you don't have to bother thinking about how to fix it. Here are some things you should pay attention to so that your logo design is difficult to steal:
1. Creating A Logo That Describes A Brand
Make sure that the logo you have is a reflection of your product brand. The logo is unique and only suitable as an illustration for your brand identity. You may choose the image of a woman when creating a logo for a cosmetic brand, but don't make it too mainstream.
Branding meets various aspects and elements, where it will let customers know about your brand just by looking at the colors and fonts. Today, when you see a logo from a famous brand. The logos are successful in interpreting their identity well.
2. Considering The Company's Value
The second step is to develop a logo, taking into account the core values of your company. Your company must have a tagline and goals, right?
Use those two things as the basis for creating your logo symbol. The core values of the company are important to increase the consumer's view of your logo. One company that has successfully represented its value through logo design is McAfee. You can see how unique and elegant their logo is; a shield before the letter M.
The shield seems to form two M letters that are intertwined with each other, signifying the power that is reflected in their tagline, "Together is Power." A perfect portrayal of their well-known brand.
3. Using A Professional
Again, this is about the important role of a professional designer in handling your logo design. As a company owner, you must know the importance of experience to increase the value and abilities of employees.
You would never let an intern manage accounting or an important role in your company, right? It's the same when you're looking for a logo designer. If you want to get a good and satisfying design, you have to hire a professional. The cost may be high, but the quality provided is perfect reciprocity.
A logo designed by a professional designer will help describe your identity well and uniquely, including avoiding theft. They will create a simple design that can describe your company as a whole so that the design will not be easily stolen.
4. Understand Your Brand Thoroughly.
Good companies know what they are aiming for and what they want for their audience. A logo reflects many things, including the character you want to build. Do you want to create a company personality that is cheerful, complicated, humble, classy, assertive, luxurious, or something else?
The logo that you create must be able to reflect the personality and values of your company well. Don't forget to think about the audience or the target market you want to reach to be able to communicate the value of your company well according to their wishes.
5. Use It As A Storytelling Tool
There are many beautiful logos out there; you should be the one that gets attention with the unique design you create. Make a classy design but must remain creative and innovative. You have to do a survey first.
Observe some of the big companies' logos; they are unique and simple, so no one can steal them. Pay attention to the simple Apple or Nike logos. No one can plagiarize their logos. If someone does it, the public will immediately know that the party stole the logo design idea belonging to Nike or Apple.
Use the logo as a medium to convey the quality and personality of your company. Moreover, a logo is used on certain social media platforms. Write down who you are and what you want to offer customers. Remember that a logo is your company identity.
6. Customizing The Color Palette
Customizing the color palette is important in creating a logo. Give your brand the flexibility to create color schemes that are both unique and attractive.
You may need to combine several different color schemes into one design to attract consumers' attention, but that doesn't mean you have to choose colors that are too flashy.
Playing with colors is fun if you know how to do it. When you manage to play with color well, then you know the depiction of your logo is strong. Audiences will immediately know how your logo is drawn through several attractive colors that intertwine to produce the perfect design.
7. Take Your Time
You don't work alone. Creating a logo that will become a brand identity is not simple, even though you have to create a simple and creative logo.
Take your time to decide on the color palette and design you want. Invite several parties within the company to have discussions or exchange opinions to get the most appropriate logo.
Similar to the product brand you choose, the logo is also something you will live with for a long time. Make sure to make it as good as possible by implementing some important aspects. If necessary, you can invite stakeholders to discuss it together.
Many parties might steal the logo to claim it as theirs. To deal with this, you can take legal action if your logo has been registered with the Patent and Trademark Office.
To strengthen the allegations, you can also hire a lawyer so that this case is handled properly. Logo theft is as bad as other thefts in general; it can even harm your company.
You can also anticipate logo theft by hiring a professional logo designer. In addition to registering it with the Trademark Office, you must create a logo that is simple and represents your company as a whole. A simple and unique logo will be difficult to recognize as belonging to others.