Q: friend came up with a slogan for a shirt, I created the design for it. I want to use it as my company name. Do I owe him
Now he did not pay me or even ask me to make it I just did it based off our conversation. After I made the design I tried to sell it to him but he didn't want it. A few months later I wanted to create a design company using that slogan as the name. I want to use the design as my logo. Would I owe him anything for doing this? Again I created the design myself and our conversation was hypothetical, meaning he said "this would be cool IF it was a shirt".
A: A slogan is usually too short for copyright protection, so must be protected as a trademark or service mark. That either requires registration with the state or being used in commerce. If he has not registered it or used it in business, then he probably could not succeed on a claim against you. But anyone can sue for almost anything. And even if he doesn't sue you, he might feel cheated. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local business attorney about starting your business and also registering your slogan as a trademark or service mark.
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