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Should You Register Your Logo With the Copyright Office?


This is Part 3 of a series of blog posts about logos. Here are Part 1, “Who Owns Your Logo?” and Part 2, “Should You Register Your Logo As a Trademark?” So, to summarize, you own your logo, and you’ve considered whether to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The final step is to decide whether you should register the logo with the U.S. Copyright Office. [If you want to skip to the bottom line: the cost to register your logo with the Copyright Office is low, and the benefits can be huge. You should probably…

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Who Owns Your Logo?


This is Part 2 of a 3-part series of blog posts about logos. Click here for Part 2, “Should You Register Your Logo as a Trademark?” Click here for Part 3, “Should You Register Your Logo With the Copyright Office?” Who owns your logo? That sounds like a pretty simple question. You own your logo, right? Well, it’s not always quite that simple, and in this blog post I’m going to explain why this is a question I often end up asking my clients. If you yourself personally designed the logo for your business, with no help or input from…

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Podcaster Hit With Copyright Lawsuit for Unlicensed Music


I’ve been writing and speaking for several years about the likelihood of lawsuits concerning unlicensed music in podcasts. See, for example, my 2015 blog post “Can I Play Music On My Podcast?” Spoiler Alert: The answer is “no, unless you have the proper licenses.” Recently, a podcaster was sued for copyright infringement for doing exactly that – playing popular music on a podcast without the appropriate license. To my knowledge, this is the first time that this has been the subject of a lawsuit, but I doubt it will be the last. Universal Music Group (“UMG”), one of the world’s…

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Disney Character Knockoffs – Legal or Not?


Disney character knockoffs come a dime a dozen, but are they legal? A recent ruling took on this issue. In the spring of 2016, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and its affiliated entities sued a small party services business called Characters for Hire (“CFH”) for presenting Disney character knockoffs to the public. The entertainment conglomerate alleged that CFH violated its copyright and trademark rights. But the plaintiff was up to the challenge. Disney—along with subsidiaries Marvel Characters, Inc., Lucas Film Ltd., LLC, and Lucas Entertainment Company Ltd., LLC (collectively, “Disney”)—moved for summary judgment, meaning a ruling from the civil court judge without…

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