Logos are an important asset to any company or brand. It is often that the logo of your company or brand is what helps consumers remember you. Companies and brands often develop their own logos that are completely different from other companies, so consumers will only associate one company with the logo. However, is it possible to use the same logo as another company?
You can use the same logo as another company, but you must first see if the logo is trademarked. If the logo is trademarked by another company, you must have permission from that company in order to use the logo. It is best, however, to develop your own logo for your company in order to avoid confusion amongst consumers.
If you’re creating your own logo, we recommend using a logo maker with pre-made templates because it will give you a head start with design, while still giving you full commercial usage rights and avoiding any copyright or trademark issues. Our favorite tool for this is Placeit.net because their logo maker has the largest library of templates and fonts.
Continue reading to learn more about using the same logo as another company as well as how copyright can come into play. Also, continue reading to learn if different companies can have logos that are similar but not exactly the same.
Using The Same Logo As Another Company
A logo is defined as a word, symbol, or image that is used to identify a brand, company, or individual. When a consumer thinks of a company, they often may think of the products or services that are provided by that company, but they will also remember the logo of the company. Logos can help differentiate your company from others in your field and other companies around the world.
Some popular logos include:
- The McDonald’s arches
- The Target logo
- Twitter’s bird logo
- Apple’s bitten apple
Logos tend to be different from other logos that other companies use, especially companies or brands that work in the same or a similar field. It is possible, however, to use the same logo as another company, as long as you have permission from that company to use the logo. This is important because using the logo without gaining permission from the company, especially if the logo is trademarked, can result in a lawsuit.
Logos And Trademark Laws
In order to use a logo that is trademarked or owned by another company, it is vital to get permission in order to avoid trademark infringement. While the United States trademark law does allow for trademarks (or logos) to be used without permission through “fair use”, using the logo of another company as your companies logo does not fall under this “fair use” claim.
There are some ways to use another companies logo where you do not need to seek permission. These uses are:
- Using it as a descriptor
- Comparing one company with your company (as long as the trademark is correctly displayed)
- Using it as a reference
While the logo or trademark can be used in any of these instances without being given permission, it is still advised to seek out permission from the company in order to avoid possible trademark infringement.
Can Logos Of Different Companies Be Similar?
When using the exact same logo as another company, it is important to get permission before using the logo. However, different rules apply if the logos look similar.
When it comes to having a logo that looks similar to another companies logo, you must ask yourself in what ways do the logos look similar. Do the logos feature the same animal? Do the logos have the same color scheme? What makes you think your logo looks like another companies logo?
After evaluating these questions, you may come to realize that your logo does not look completely similar to the logo of another company. However, if the logos do seem to be very similar, there are some questions you may want to ask yourself before deciding whether to keep or change the logo entirely.
These questions are:
- Is my company selling the same products or services as the other company with a similar logo?
- Is my company in the same region or area as this other company?
Once you have answered both of these questions and it turns out that both answers are “yes”, then there are a few things you can do.
What To Do If Logo Is Similar To A Different Company
There are many different options you have if your logo is similar to that of a different company.
The first option is to of course change your logo. If your business or brand is newer, then this step is a little easier as you have not yet established your business enough to be associated with your logo. You can change the design itself or choose to change up the color scheme to make the logos look less similar.
Another option is to continue using your logo, but you may want to get in touch with the other company in order to avoid possible trademark infringement. If the other company believes your logos do not look similar, you are more in the clear and allowed to continue using your logo. However, if the company does think your logos look very similar, then you may want to change some aspects of your logo.
Logos are an important asset of a company that helps the company stand out from other competitors. Consumers will remember the logo of a company and associate the look of that logo with that company or brand. While it is possible to use the same logo as a different company, it is important to seek out permission before doing so in order to avoid trademark infringement.
Using the same logo as a different company can be confusing for the consumer as they will associate the logo with one company or the other company. This is not advised if the two companies are working in the same field, but there is more leeway if the two companies are not in the same field.