Employee created a logo for you.

Employee created a logo for you.

If an employee of yours has created a logo for you, can you register that as a trademark? It depends, most employment contracts have a clause saying that any intellectual property that somebody creates during the course and scope of their employment belongs to you as the employer. That then brings the question, what does course and scope of employment mean? 

If the person is employed as a graphic designer or something to do with marketing, then it might be within their role to create logos for you, in which case you would automatically own the intellectual property in that. However, I have seen a situation where an accountant in a big university created something for one of my clients, and she successfully argued that, “My job is not a designer, my job is an accountant. So when I create logos for you or marketing material, or when I sing songs for your soundtrack, that doesn’t belong to you, the university, my employer, because this is not within the course and scope of my employment.” 

So if you have an employee who creates intellectual property for you outside of their usual job description, simply get them to say in writing “I have created this logo on behalf of my employers company, and I hereby assign full copyright and intellectual property to *insert your company name.”

If you don’t do that, and it’s not their normal job to create the logo, then you could find yourself in the situation where you don’t own the copyright. Even if you get it trademark registered, your employee could later come and get that removed, because you don’t own the copyright, and thus you are not entitled to register that logo as a trademark. My name is Cathryn Warburton, and I am The Legal Lioness.

Cathryn Warburton About the author

The Legal Lioness. Overcoming severe bullying as a child instilled in her a passion to protect others. As a skilled litigator, she indulges in her dream to push-back against business-bullies who target her clients. She is an international award-winning lawyer and patent attorney and 5-time published author. Cathryn bullet-proofs her client’s businesses and protects them like a mama lioness protecting her cubs. She makes sure that no business is left without access to affordable, easy-to-understand legal information. She does this through her books, proactive legal workshops and 1-2-1 legal services.