5 most common myths about legal brand protection

Myth 1. The copyright belongs to the person who came up with the name of the company.

Under copyright law, a single word can be considered a work. However, this is a purely theoretical assumption. Although it cannot be ruled out that someone will come up with such a complex word, in reality such a situation is extremely rare.

Interestingly, the company logo will not always be protected in this way. The more refined and original it is, the more likely it is to be stolen.

However, if your logo is plain red text on a white background, don’t expect copyright protection.

Myth 2. The owner of the logo is the person who ordered it from the graphic designer

Most entrepreneurs believe that if the company logo was created at their request and they paid for it, then they automatically become its owners.

At the same time, an entrepreneur can become the owner of these rights, subject to the signing of an appropriate contract with a graphic designer. This is an agreement that transfers its own copyright to the results of a graphic artist’s work. If no such agreement has been signed, all copyright remains with the creator.

In the event of a dispute, you will bear the burden of proving the above circumstances. It may also turn out that the court will end up granting you protection only for some of the goods or services offered and only in a limited area.

Myth 3. Registering a name as a trademark gives me exclusivity.

This is too simplistic. Trademark registration effectively gives a legal monopoly for the registered term. However, it should be remembered that this is not an unlimited monopoly.

Myth 4. After registering a trademark, I can take someone else’s name.

The Patent Office has a “first come, first served” rule. The first person to apply receives a monopoly on the use of a trademark. This can happen not only if your competitor just comes up with an identical name. It happens that an employee or partner in conflict with you tries to register a trademark. Then you may lose the right to use the name under which you operated first.

Myth 5. The R icon in the circle next to the logo is information about originality.

Many people get the R-k around the circle wrong. Entrepreneurs also often interpret it this way. Meanwhile, the ® stamp is an abbreviation of the English word registered, i.e. registered.

Its task is to inform competing companies that the name or logo marked in this way enjoys legal protection as a result of registration. Unlawful use of the ® mark is an offense and may result in a fine. It is worth keeping in mind if you want to expand the market of your goods or services to include countries that are not protected.