Copyright symbols let users know that a logo is protected from being used by someone not authorized.
In the United States, copyrights protect an author’s original works. Copyright protection can extend to logo artworks. If you are the original author of the logo, you can get “Initial Ownership” copyright protection. If your logo is a product of joint efforts, then all the creators are co-owners under “Initial Ownership” protection. If your hired another company or person, then under “Works Made for Hire” copyright protection title, you are considered the author. You have the copyright ownership and all associated rights unless specified otherwise in writing. Copyright registration is a voluntary process and is essential if you want to file a lawsuit for infringement.
1. Go to the official website of the Copyright Office (See Resources). Click “Search Copyright Records” to search the online database of the Copyright Office, which has works recorded since Jan. 1, 1978, to know if you are not infringing on another copyright. Results for your search display brief descriptions of recorded work. You have the option to download the entire report.
2. Click “eCO Login”. If you already have an account, use it to login. If you are a new user, create a new account.
3. Fill in your application to register your work once you sign into your account. Select the type of your work depending on the examples given or use the drop-down menu of options. Choose a title for your work. Proceed according to instructions, giving information on whether or not you have published your work; give related details in either case. Give details about the author(s) of the work. Give required information in case your work contains a pre-registered material. Proceed to certify the application. Check if you are eligible for certifying the application. You have to be either the author, copyright claimant, owner of exclusive rights of the logo work or an authorized agent of any of the preceding, to be eligible. If you are any of these and if you are sure that the information provided in the application is true to the best of your knowledge, complete the application certification by checking the checkbox. Proceed to the payment. (See Reference 5)
4. Select your method of payment, enter information as required and complete the payment process. You should receive a payment successful message and an email receipt confirming your payment. (See Reference 5)
5. Upload electronic copies of your work if your work is eligible for upload, or choose to attach the shipping slip for sending hard copies of your work. See Resource 2 to know if your work qualifies for electronic upload. If your work requires hard-copy deposits, submit your application and payment online and mail the copies through express courier or the U.S. Postal Service to the address given on the shipping slip. This completes your copyright claim registration. (See Reference 5)
6. Wait for the Copyright Office to process your application. You should receive your certificate within a period of six months or earlier. (See Reference 6)