Small businesses have a hard enough time trying to compete with the larger businesses in their industry. Although times have gotten easier for entrepreneurs to find their own voice and establish an entirely unique brand, laws have had to keep up also. These laws are very young and since the culture of the Western world has dramatically shifted to a largely online-based artistic format, controlled your image is shaky at times.
If and when one notices there may be an overlapping of your content, logo, mascot, slogan or anything that makes your business distinct, many people don’t know what to do. Before you move too hastily, it’s important to remember that creative content, even in legal parameters may still be subject to the eye of the beholder. This is why it’s important to carry out a few steps before you put forth a case which may see you fighting for your intellectual property in court.
Credit David Michalczuk
Make sure you are distinct.
You’d be setting yourself up if you didn’t make sure to scan the playing field before you made the key image points of your business. When designing your logo, everything from the colors, font, shapes, and characters should be researched thoroughly. You may find another business has filed a recent logo trademark which looks like your’s, but you may run into a trap. If that business has simply updated or modernized their brand and only slightly changed their logo, technically, they hold precedence over it. So instead of your business being plagiarized, in fact by filing a claim against you’d be in the firing line. Therefore, it’s incredibly vital that when you are designing the look of your business, you have done the proper research, so you distinctive logo and other branding is not similar to others.
What if you’re not sure
It’s perfectly reasonable not to be sure whether your content has been ripped off and copied so as to make money from. This is why you might find solace by entrusting a business private detective. The investigator will use his or her expertise to locate and find those who have stolen your business identity. The issue may not concern a larger business but purely a small business owner on a high street that is copying your logo and essentially taking the essence away from your brand. The investigator can use their skills to challenge the right for that business to be operating in the same location as yourself, so the damage is limited. They will also be well versed in the law and work well within the customs rules and regulations.
Have a quiet word
We’re all humans at the end of the day, and sometimes you might just nip the issue in the bud, by having a firm but friendly talk with the business that is infringing on your identity. Do not forget that it could just be a simple and careless mistake, with no intention of harm. You could save yourself money and time by simply informing the person or business that is violating copyright or trademark laws that your intellectual property will not be forged, stolen or plagiarized. If they do not respond kindly, then you can take legal actions.
Seeing your business identity and or intellectual property stolen can be incredibly infuriating. The world has moved on from just physical products, and online content is firmly treated with the same legal weight. Avoid this issue by creating a brand that is entirely unique in the first place. Take the time to explore the potential violators, and then pick the right legal path carefully.