You may not own what you think you own…
A client just sent me this article about a New Orleans bakery who was forced “to ditch all of the distinctive brand imagery that customers have become familiar with” because the company who designed the branding now claims to own it.
My client asked, “How is this possible?”
This messy situation resulted from common misunderstandings that can cause serious financial harm to any business:
- Just because you paid for it doesn’t mean you own it.
Under copyright law, a firm that creates branding for your business actually owns the copyrights in that branding unless they specifically assign them to you in writing. No matter how much you paid them.
But even owning the copyright may not be enough.
- You own it or created it, but can you use it?
If Jack uses a trademark so similar to Jill’s trademark that customers mistakenly think the two are somehow related, Jack has infringed Jill’s trademark rights. Even if he owns the copyrights in his trademark, and regardless of his intentions.
Simply put: Laws are complicated!
Even the savviest business person can misunderstand crucial legal issues.
You know your business; we know the law.
Let us help you find the legal solutions that fit your business best!