Ownership of logo design


I am incapable (artistically) of designing a logo for my startup. If I offer to pay someone to create it for me, do I own the intellectual property rights to the logo? Are there any other steps I have to take to make sure that the logo cannot be reused by the designer for some other purpose?

Copyright Logo

asked Mar 23 '12 at 04:42
Explosion Pills
113 points

2 Answers


In the US an artist owns the copyright to any work he creates unless and intill he transfers the copyright to someone else. If you expect to own the logo (that is, own the copyright to the logo), then get a written agreement stating that the graphic artist that creates it transfers and assigns all rights in the work to you.

answered Mar 23 '12 at 04:51
Jonny Boats
4,848 points
  • Is there some specific legal document I need or can I just write something on a piece of paper that we both sign? – Explosion Pills 12 years ago
  • The usual "I am not a lawyer...". If you Google "form for assignment of copyright" you will see many examples. This one in particular may be useful as a starting point: http://www.copylaw.com/forms/copyassn.htmlJonny Boats 12 years ago


The artist owns the copyright to the logo. All you own is a license to use the work which the artist can restrict, and place limits on your ability to use later. To ensure you own your logo in full, you need to have the copyright and IP rights to the logo fully transferred over to you which can only be done in writing. Sometimes third party platforms like for logo creation like 99 Designs and Crowdspring take care of this official transfer, but outside of those platforms you need to secure copyright assignment directly. We experienced similar type logo issues ourselves, and created Kunvay to help others with the same problem.

answered Oct 1 '12 at 20:28
101 points
  • Is there a specific license agreement I can use to do this? – Explosion Pills 11 years ago
  • Wish we could help you with that one. We know less about licensing and more about full transfer. Perhaps you might check another Stackflow site for programmers to see what the best practices are for software licensing. – Kunvay 11 years ago

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