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Who has rights to logo and web site design

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by craigedmonds, May 17, 2006.

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  1. #1

    About 18 months ago I made an unwritten deal with a "mate" of mine to design his web site.

    One of those deals where I design and host everything whilst he made sales and gives me a share of the sales.

    One of my guys that works for me designed the logo and web site, I did all the programming and seo etc.

    In August last year the relationship between me and my "mate" went a bit sour and I told him I would not be be working on his site anymore as I had already done the equivalent of 20k worth of work and not made a single cent, and with a kid on the way I could not afford to do it anymore.

    We parted ways and have not really heard anything since until I found out recently, that shortly after we parted ways, he applied for a Spanish trademark on the logo, that my company designed.

    Normally this would not be a problem and I would just "let it go" but......the cheeky so and so went and regsitered craigedmonds.com with the purpose of putting up a defamotory site in case I did the same to him. (when I asked him about it he said "it was his backup" in case I did the same)

    I used to own craigedmonds.com but let it lapse and he must have grabbed it at some point.

    Anyway, back to the logo....

    Do I have any rights to the logo becasue my company designed it?

    For him to be able to trademark the logo under a specific class, dont I, as the designer of the logo have to grant him written permission or something before he can claim ownership?

    Can I dispute his trademark application?

    I have presented these questions to my lawyer but I would like to get the thoughyts of some dp members too as they provide valuable input.

    I dont have bags of cash but I have enough to already retain a lawyer and will do what I need to to prove a point.
    craigedmonds, May 17, 2006 IP
  2. mdvaldosta

    mdvaldosta Peon

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    I would think that since you made the design for him, and gave it to him, that it belongs to him. Either way, if he gets a trademark you will have to prove it belongs to you, not the other way around... which I think would be tough to do. Maybe you have the psd for it and he doesn't? Just a thought.
    mdvaldosta, May 17, 2006 IP
  3. Webturtle

    Webturtle Guest

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    That's a tough one. Generally speaking, without any legal document saying that you created it and retained the copyright, I doubt you have any standing. You gave it to him - and unless you have the money for a long drawn out legal fight, and the source files to prove it, I think you're probably out of luck. On the other hand, the fact that this guy registered your name as a domain "just in case" you decided to battle him tells me he KNOWS he's wrong.

    As hard as it is to swallow, I think you might be best to do some sort of purging ritual and wash this guy right out of your life. It will smart, and you'll feel sick about it for a while but in the long run, the negativity that fighting or dwelling on it will bring into your life and that of your family is probably not worth it.

    I say this having been in business eleven years and having been screwed royally at least three times (different circumstances each time). Simply put, there are some real evil MF'ers out there and the best thing you can do is cut your losses and distance yourself from their toxicity.
    Webturtle, May 22, 2006 IP
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