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Legal advice

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by thisnorthernboy, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Hi folks,

    I've recently rebranded a local radio station here in the UK, and the logo has been ripped off by a competitor.
    The station have sought advice, and I believe sent a formal letter of complaint, but won't be taking it to court - because they've been advised that it would cost them upto £35K.

    I would like to write to the competitor who has knicked my design and voice my concerns/complaints.

    Any ideas of how to word it, what form it should take? I want something strongly, but politely worded.

    If you want to see the offending copy...

    Original logo for Isle of Wight Radio... Isle Of Wight Radio - News and information
    Knicked logo (bottom right)... http:Island Life Magazine

    Any help greatly appreciated.


  2. charles

    charles Senior Member

    Not sure bout that one...

    It's similar but might have been accidental...

    A lot of people lay out their text in a similar fashion and there are no waves above the first I
  3. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    I'm not sure I'd have an issue with this as the original (yours) is a better looking and cleaner version, and they wouldn't be confused.

    I imagine there are alot more logos that look very similar
  4. DeanZappy

    DeanZappy Senior Member

    Yeah, really don’t see how you can take issue with this.

    To me that’s not a logo which has been copied, its just a commercially available font laid out in a similar way. Even if it has been copied there is not enough of an original idea for it to be a rip off.
  5. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    If I was contacting them, I would just suggest the change as it would be more beneficial to both parties to have distinguishable logos. Rather than complaining help with suggestions
  6. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Apart from the layout they dont look the same. The fonts are not the same. They dont have the curves (like radio waves) above there lettering and they have a tag line and your doesnt.

    I think its just coincidental im afraid.

    I like yours though, looks good and it looks way better than theres.
  7. Anon.

    Anon. Senior Member

    I have to agree with what everyone else has said, although very similar it could just be coincidence, it does happen a fair bit, here's just a few examples:

    When logos look alike | Logo Design Love
  8. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I've had my work copied and stolen, the client copied the proof I did. It sucked, but the downside was it was a fairly simple design, and the legal arguement was on our side, but the cost meant it wasnt worth it. Legal minded friends advice was, "Yep, they've stolen it! What were you charging them?" "£XXXX" "Well, I'll charge you that much to get me into a court to fight for it, and whilst you can claim costs back from the other side, the judge might not include that in the end result. Soooo, it ain't worth it."

    Sometime logos are similar, its worth a phone call/email.
  9. Hi folks,

    Thanks for your input. For those who claimed coincidence, I should have given a little background. The guy who has ‘appropriated’ my logo had, only a few months ago, very publicly tried and failed to buy Isle of Wight Radio. This resulted in quite a lot of bad feeling between the two parties. So, although there's a chance it's just coincidence, I think that recent history suggests something a little more spiteful.

    I think I'll write, as the designer with no mention of the clients, expressing my disappointment. As I have no past with this guy perhaps he'll be reasonable.


  10. Ant

    Ant Member

    If he is doing this in spite of not being able to win the "bid"? to buy Isle Of Wight radio station, he doesn't sound a reasonable guy.

    So you could be in for something, just stick to what your saying and dont give into him!
  11. berry

    berry Active Member

    The intelectual copyright of the logo belongs to you, unless you have assigned it to Isle of wight radio. The copyright infringement is between the radio station and the other party.
    Most copyright infringement issues can get insurance to cover the legal cost if you get that done before you contact lawyers, I would suggest that the radio station look into this. It is their brand that they should be protecting. If there is bitterness between the two parties as it may seem. I would suggest a different approach that the Radio station features the logo similarities as a topical radio debate both on the website and on the air and highlights the 'coincidence' and ask listeners to vote on a poll or comment on this. Radio is topical and has audience interaction, so have some
    light hearted fun at the others expense, get the power of the radio audience behind it. Play it down, play it up, 'Coincidence or not? - you decide" etc. Shame the other party and claim a stake to your brand. Radio can be powerful is manipulated and used right. Use what you have - a voice.
  12. mike_watts

    mike_watts Member

    wow it's very similar

  13. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Oh sorry mate. I didnt see you put bottom right. I see what you mean now. Nail him. That is so a copy.
  14. Anagoge

    Anagoge Senior Member

    Looking at it from a pure design point of view:

    Yours is set in a variant of Chalet.
    His is set in Myriad.

    Yours is dominantly grey and green.
    His is dominantly grey and blue.

    Yours employs the 'signal' device.
    His doesn't.

    Yours refers to 'isleofwight'.
    His refers to 'islandlife'.

    Four quite big differences. Even if your competitor is trying to copy you, he's not done a very good job of it and if it did ever go to court, he could probably get away with it because the differences are there.

    Having said that, I'm saying this as a designer and to the average person, you could argue that they do look similar. However, in my opinion not similar enough to advise legal action.

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