đź“Ś Get the latest strategies to protect your revenue in your inbox

How to report logo copyright infringement
How To's
5 mins

How to report logo copyright infringement

Table of Contents:

    Brands that succeed online do so, in part, because they have strong and recognizable intellectual property (IP). Unfortunately, in today’s digital market scammers and bad actors often target intellectual property to take advantage of businesses and customers. They will take written content, images, and logos and misuse them for their own purposes. 

    Recently, one of the most common IP tactics has been logo copyright infringement. Fraudsters have been misusing the logos of legitimate brands in order to steal sensitive information and money. Counterfeiters have also been using real brand logos in their own merchandise without authorization. The best way to combat these kinds of IP infringement is to be informed and proactive. 

    In this blog, we’ll be exploring how to report logo copyright infringement by focussing on a few key topics, including:

    • What is logo copyright infringement?
    • What is the scope of logo copyright laws?
    • How to report logo copyright infringement
    • How to avoid logo copyright infringement

    What is logo copyright infringement?

    Logo copyright infringement is when a logo, that has been registered as intellectual property, is used without the owner’s permission. Copyright law protects the logo as an artistic work. If anyone uses an important component of your logo then you may be able to legally pursue them for infringement.

    Types of logo infringement

    • Unauthorized use – Simply, if anyone uses your logo without authorization then they will have infringed your copyright. 
    • Reproduction – Equally, if anyone reproduces your logo in whatever form without permission then they also will have infringed your copyright. 
    • Modification – Under copyright law, no one is allowed to modify your logo for any purpose unless they have your express permission. 

    It is important to be aware of the various kinds of infringement because it will help you identify whether your logos have in fact been misused, stolen, or improperly modified. This knowledge will help you promptly address any potential logo copyright infringement which in turn will help you protect your brand. 

    Examples of logo infringement disputes

    • Louis Vuitton v. Louis Vuiton Dak – The logo of South-Korean fried chicken restaurant Louis Vuiton Dak bore a close resemblance to the established logo of the worldwide fashion brand Louis Vuitton. The District Court ruled in favor of Louis Vuitton and ordered the restaurant to pay a fine. 
    • PayPal v. Paytm – This case between the American online payment processor PayPal and the Indian digital payment system Paytm began in 2016 and is still ongoing. It revolved around PayPal’s objection to Paytm’s logo which they believed too closely resembled the design and color combination of PayPal’s logo.  

    What is the scope of logo copyright laws?

    Under US copyright law when you design a logo you own the intellectual property for that logo. While it is important to register your intellectual property rights, to some extent your IP is immediately protected as soon as you create this logo. Nevertheless, registering at the U.S. Copyright Office is a good idea because it will give you peace of mind. 

    Logo copyright infringement occurs when someone uses a critical component, such as the shape, color or style, of your design without your permission. It can happen inadvertently or it can be done with intent. Within the scope of logo copyright law, there is an exception called the doctrine of fair use. This doctrine allows someone to use your copyrighted logo without obtaining your permission as long as the purpose, the amount used, and the impact of the original work are deemed fair. 


    How to report logo copyright infringement

    • Document the infringement

    To begin the process of reporting logo copyright infringement you must first start collecting evidence. The relevance and probative value of this evidence will be key to your success if you do end up engaging in litigation. Evidence can be recorded in screenshots, documented communication, digital logs, and many other forms. 

    As well as evidence that will be directly relevant to your case you should also gather supporting materials. This kind of information will help you flesh out the details and allow you to paint a whole convincing picture for any possible judge or jury you may encounter. It will also help when reporting potential infringers to domain providers, search engines, website hosts, marketplaces, and social media platforms. 

    • Identify the infringer

    You then need to identify the potential logo copyright infringer. Conduct thorough research to ensure that you are pursuing the right person. Make sure you collect accurate information about them. 

    Note their location and jurisdiction – this will be key if you do begin any legal proceedings as copyright laws differ around the world and across different regions.

    • Contact the infringer

    Start communication with the infringer. Send a cease and desist letter that warns them they may be violating your intellectual property and that you want them to stop. 

    One usually includes a response deadline within the cease and desist letter, this will hopefully help to encourage the matter to be resolved quickly. Alternatively, if they ignore this letter or respond in a way that disputes your claim you can start to consider sending a formal report or beginning legal action. 

    • Report to the appropriate authorities

    To begin the reporting process you need to determine the relevant authorities.

    If you spotted the infringement online, you should start with the website, marketplace, or social media platform where the infringing content was located. Most marketplaces and social media sites have their own reporting tools you can use. 

    Then you should turn to the authorities. You can report copyright infringement to your local government authority through the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Here you can submit a formal complaint that provides accurate details of the infringement and all the supporting evidence you have obtained. 

    How to avoid logo copyright infringement

    • Register your logo as intellectual property 

    Register your logo as intellectual property at the U.S. Copyright Office or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. By registering your logo in this way you provide your business with a reliable legal avenue to protect your logo from infringers. 

    • Display the copyright symbol 

    You should also visually remind anyone that uses your products and service that your logo is protected by copyright law. You can do this quite easily by displaying the copyright symbol, “©”  next to your logo. 

    This will hopefully deter the lazy scammers from attempting to steal your logo. It will also remind individuals that may have inadvertently copied part of your logo that they could be entering risky territory. 

    • Use a copyright infringement detection solution

    Red Points’ Copyright Infringement Detection Software helps to protect business logos from being misused and stolen. Our platform allows you to track and enforce against bad actors to ensure that you can mitigate the impact of any logo copyright infringement. 

    We accomplish this via three simple and effective steps:

    1. Detect

    Our bot-powered search rapidly detects any potential copyright infringement across linking sites, cyberlockers, apps, social, streaming, and P2P platforms. 

    We use logo recognition to identify logos in images, regardless of their form or location on the web. Machine learning continuously improves our logo detection capabilities, making each infringement search more precise and effective. 

    2. Remove 

    We collect all detections into a list of your reviews and validate them. You can do this manually or automate the process based on the guidelines you set up. We will then send de-index and removal requests for all the infringements you validate. 

    3. Report

    Our reporting system then allows you to see a detailed overview of your copyright infringement coverage. Through performance dashboards and customized reports, you can understand how your actions have helped to mitigate the impact of any logo copyright infringement. 

    What’s next

    To ensure that you can protect your brand’s intellectual property you must register your trademarks and copyrights that relate to your logos. This will provide you with the legal protection you need to pursue infringers and recover lost revenue. You must then also be proactive in the way you report, and defend against logo copyright infringement to ensure that your brand and your customers are safeguarded. 

    If you fail to act against logo copyright infringers the value of your IP will be damaged and your connection to customers will be disrupted. You will become an easy target for scammers who will gradually eat away at your revenue and hinder your brand’s growth.  By using a smart detection solution that allows you to track and enforce against logo copyright infringement online you will safeguard the future of your brand and your products. 

    To learn more about how Red Points can help you tackle logo copyright infringement, request a demo here.

    Discover now: Anti piracy solution for companies of all sizes

    You may like...

    How to protect your business logo and brand
    How to trademark a logo
    Intellectual Property theft: Everything brands need to know