Greenfield, MA asked in Copyright for Massachusetts

Q: I hired a company to create a logo

I hired a company to create a logo for my business which will be starting in the future. They created the logo for me and before they emailed it to me they wanted all sorts of money to get a copyrighted. I did a quick search and think I found out that it does not need to be copyrighted unless I want it to be. They never told me when I purchased the package that they were going to make me copyright it. I ultimately got what I asked for as far as the logo creation and different files that came with the package. They are still all over me about copyrighting it. I guess my question is, since I got the files and I heard them to create the logo and nothing else do I have to deal with them if I want to copyrighted? They are telling me I have to but I feel like I can do it on my own at some point if I want to.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Kost
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Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Pittsburgh, PA

A: There's a lot to sort out here. First, if you paid for a logo, I'm not sure why you're obligated to the vendor to copyright it (meaning: register it with the copyright office - see below). A more fitting form of legal protection is probably trademark, which is very different from copyright.

Copyright protects works of authorship (like books, music and software). It exists from the moment the work is recorded, and belongs initially to the author. Registering a copyright has benefits, but is not required to own the copyright. What did your agreement with them say about their assigning copyright to you or deeming it a "work for hire"?

Trademark protects distinctive marks, such as brand names, logos, and designs and designates their source. Apple computers are computers made by Apple. The logo your vendor designed may be trademark-able -- this (...) is the symbol for the goods or services made by your business.

So, absent some odd contractual obligation, I'm not sure why a vendor would or should require you to register copyright in it.

To get to the bottom of this, talk to a lawyer.

Good luck,

Rob

Thomas James agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

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