How to Copyright a Business Logo

By Chris Blank

Like any other form of intellectual property, a business logo is entitled to legal protection against copying. Depending on the form of the logo, the proper protection may be a copyright, a trademark, or both. The choice depends on whether the protection applies only to the visual aspects of the logo or to the business name as well.

Determine whether you want protection for the logo only or the logo as well as the business name. To protect the business name, it should meet the test of uniqueness to be eligible for trademark or service mark status. (See "References" below.)

For copyright protection, contact the United States Copyright office. Most copyright forms can be completed online. Form VA, which is the form which most likely will apply to a business logo, can also be obtained in paper form by request. (See "Resources" below.)

For trademark or service mark protection of the business name along with the logo, contact the United States Trademark Office. This registration must be completed separately from copyright registration.

About the Author

Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.