Asked in Copyright and Trademark

Q: I am wanting to create a book and have had a design since 2016.

Both, my book and this business have nearly the same name and design / logo. Mine isn’t a logo but I have a heart on the front cover that is similar to the heart they use for their logo

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1 Lawyer Answer
James D. Williams
James D. Williams
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Richmond, VA

A: It ultimately will depend on how similar the designs are and what types of protection the business logo has.

If they have a registered trademark, then you might run into problems if your logo is seen as younger than the trademark.

If they have copyright protection for the design, then we'd basically need to do a side-by-side comparison of the two things. You cannot get copyright protections for generic shapes like a heart, but you could potentially get a special variation on the shape of a heart or with other features. The protection is really just over the original features, so that's good to keep in mind.

There could be a potential fair use analysis if it looks like you're copying the heart, but I would need more information. Currently it doesn't look like there would be fair use.

The name of the business being the same of the book isn't necessarily a problem, but again it would depend on whether the business has a trademark for the name and how the book uses the name.

Feel free to reach out for a consult and more info, so I can review the logos and get better feedback.

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