How to Copyright a Logo in the UK

A logo is a vital part of your business and brand. It’s what sets you apart from competitors and enables customers - both existing and potential - to recognise your company, products and services. 

Therefore, your logo needs to be protected. And of course, you can’t do this by hiding it away or keeping it secret. You should be proud of your logo and all that it represents with peace of mind that it can’t be replicated, ripped off or stolen. 

Legal protection, then, is the best way forward and typically, this would start with copyrighting your logo. 

Here’s how to copyright a logo in the UK;

Step 1: Create a logo design

In order to be able to copyright a logo in the UK, its design needs to be created in the form of artwork. This will not include any names, colours or recognised symbols. 

As well as this, any graphic images will not be accepted for copyright protection. 

Therefore, it’s best to have your business logo professionally designed to avoid any confusion. 

Step 2: Ensure your logo is unique 

One of the biggest stumbling blocks you could face when seeking copyright protection is the need to create a design that is truly unique. 

You must ensure that your logo design is not plagiarised or similar to something else already out there. If it is, you could be in breach of someone else’s copyright protection. 

There are many ways to check that your design is original. For example, you can check the government’s design database

If your logo has been professionally designed, it is highly likely that it is creative enough to be considered unique, and therefore qualifiable for copyright protection. But it’s always worth double checking, just to be safe. 

Step 3: Include the copyright symbol 

This is another important requirement for copyright protection. The symbol is depicted by the letter “C” in a circle. This copyright mark must be included in your logo design, either within it or by its side. 

As well as this, the year of the logo creation should be present next to the symbol. 

Essentially, this is all that is required to copyright your logo in the UK as protection is automatically applied once the original piece of work has been marked with the symbol. 

With this, you’ll be protected from people copying the logo, using it on their products, services, websites or other collateral without your permission and making adaptations of it. 

The copyright is usually in the name of the creator. If you’ve had your logo designed by someone else, and you do not wish for them to have ownership, make sure they assign it over to you.

The copyright protection will last 70 years after the creators/assigned individual’s death. 

Step 4: Trademark your logo 

While a copyrighted logo is enough to protect its design element from being replicated, some businesses may want to take matters further and register a trademark. 

A trademark is what enables your logo to become a recognised symbol and differentiates it from competitors’. In order to do this, you should apply to register a trademark through the government website. When making an application, the trademark can be used for the logo, name and your products or services.

You will incur a fee to make an application. The amount of this fee will vary between businesses as it is dependent upon the type of application you require and each additional class requirement. 

It takes around four weeks for a trademark to be accepted. Once it has, it will be entered into the register of trademarks, meaning you will be able to take legal action should any disputes regarding replication or wrongful use arise. 

Trademarks can also be registered in international markets. Some countries do allow you to extend your UK trademark to their overseas market, however, others require an individual application. 

Now that you’ve obtained all the protection that you need, you can get back to doing what you do best - selling, creating, servicing or whatever else it may be!

Get in touch today to learn more about our business logo design services.


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