Prairie Du Chien, WI asked in Copyright for Wisconsin

Q: How can I report a business with a logo violating a copyright?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Steve Charles Vondran
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Steve Charles Vondran
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA

A: If you have a REGISTERED copyrighted logo (meaning registered with the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") and someone has copied your logo, you can send them a cease and desist letter and being that they copyright was registered, you would have a right to sue in federal court for either actual or more likely, statutory damages plus see costs and attorney fees. Sometimes logo copy is accidental, sometimes there is a defense of "independent creation" (they had no idea they were copyright you). I will give you an example, I have registered my "V" logo (for Vondran Legal®) and in one of my offices I have had my name placard on the wall with all the other companies that occupy my office space. Then, one day, a new tenant moved in and I'll be darn, they were using my exact image (although in a different business line). But, since I was not concerned about us being competitors, it was a non-issue for me. Also, I doubt they had seen my logo and copied it (but hey, its pretty cool and you never know). Hope this provides some insight. Don't forget, the "small claims copyright" board is opening in July of 2022 (claims up to 30k total). See you at the top! Attorney Steve®

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