So you have a friend who has created a logo for you, and you wonder whether you can register that as a trademark. Well, technically you can file anything as a trademark, the trademarks office is not going to look at ownership. But, if there is a dispute, you will need to be able to prove that you own copyright in the logo.
If your friend did it for you, or even if a designer created a logo for you, it’s important to be able to prove that you own copyright in the logo. Not only for trademark registration, but also for ongoing use of it. Fortunately it’s very simple, it just needs to be in writing. Get the person to confirm by email that you own the copyright which can be as simple as you saying, “My IP lawyer said that I need to have something in writing saying that I own the copyright. Please confirm that I do. Or, if I don’t hear back from you, I’m going to take this as confirmation that I do own it.”
The second one’s slightly risky because they haven’t specifically said it. But if they don’t reply over a five-year period, that could be enough to help you. But if you’re getting somebody to create a logo for you, it’s important right at the very beginning, to get the copyright issue locked down. Especially when it comes to friends, and sometimes designers, people often don’t have the documents to prove it several years later, when it might become an issue. So, make sure you get it in writing, my name is Cathryn Warburton, and I am the Legal Lioness.