To decide whether you need a copyright for a logo, it is important to first understand the concept of copyright and trademarks. You should actually think about getting your logo trademarked and not copyrighted, here’s why.
According to the United States Copyright Office, copyright protects any original work that was created in a fixed form including but not limited to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work. United States Patent and Trademark Office says that a trademark protects words, symbols, sounds or even colors that set apart the goods and services of one company from those manufactured or sold by the others. The trademark also indicates the source of the products and services.
The fact is that both trademark and copyright are designed to protect intellectual property, but they both protect different types of intellectual property. While copyright is there to protect what your company is creating or producing, trademark protects everything that identifies the company to clients and prospects and sets them apart from the competition.
In fact, in some cases it makes more sense to protect your logo design with trademark and copyright both. Trademark however covers only a limited instances or situations, but copyright takes care of almost all possible situations or instances of copying which may impact the business of the original creator.
This means even if you did the right thing and got your logo trademarked, you still need to copyright the logo to make sure that your intellectual property is protected.
If you are planning to protect your logo you can check out this helpful little FAQ – how to copyright a logo.
However, one thing worth noting here is that the moment you create a logo, and is justifiably original, you have rights over it under the common law. Getting a trademark and copyright on your logo gives you a significant advantage in the common law and makes it more probable to score a win in case of a court case.