Where should we file our Logo: In Trademark or Copyright?

A layman is generally confused whether he should protect his/her Mark or Logo as a Copyright or Trademark. These both Intellectual properties protect the right of a person or an entity on his/her Logo or Trademark.

Recognizable logo, Word mark or Punch line which identifies the products to its Registered Owner and which distinguishes the ‘Branded Products’ from unbranded products and are used as brand identities for representing businesses are protected as trademarks.

However, if they are original artistic works that have an element of creativity, they are also protected as copyrights. Trademarks and copyrights are two different forms of intellectual properties and are governed by different laws and the scope of protection under different laws is different too.

What is a Copyright?

Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Copyright protects original works of authorship.

What is a Trademark?

A Trade mark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Trademark is Protection of unique name that makes a brand distinct from other and can include name, slogans, logo (Device), shape, colour etc.

An ideal strategy for any business owner, thus, would be to seek protection of their unique brand logos under both the laws and obtain statutory trademark rights as well as copyrights in relation to the same. While both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets.

• Copyright is aimed to protect toward literary and artistic works, such as painting, books and videos.

• Trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as its logo.


From above, we conclude that a representation or an identity of a brand is a commercial tool for any business. A logo is protected under the Trademark Act if it has distinctive feature and is capable of representing a trade in commerce. However, if a logo has original creative and artistic characteristics, the same attracts copyright protection and could be registered as an artistic work and in such event, remedies under copyright law could be sought for in cases of enforcement.

In nutshell, Registration is of high evidentiary value in both, trademark and copyright.

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