Throw me a copyright and trademark mister!
Have you ever wondered what could happen if you don't copyright and trademark your logo? Do you really need a copyright and trademark for your logo?
It's not Mardi Gras time in Louisiana right now, but a Louisiana bakery, famous for its Mardi Gras King cakes, found itself in a legal battle for their logo. Dong Phuong Bakery, famous for its King Cakes, Vietnamese baked goods and sandwiches was forced to temporarily cease the use of their logo and other designs. The reason why? Their long term friends, owner of Gemini Society, a branding company, asked the Dong Phuong to commission them to build a Reseller E-Shop, pay them a percentage of gross revenues, and charge its resellers a "license fee." Tensions arose as a result of these asks.
On April 12, 2021, Linh Garza, President of Dong Phuong Bakery, notified her friend and branding company that they were terminating their relationship due to the insistence that Dong Phuong charge its resellers a licensing fee. In response, the branding company demanded that the bakery cease use of all branding, marketing, and packaging items. Further, the branding company asserted that there was an outstanding invoice of $268,151.31 and that they exclusively owned all brand logomarks and logoscripts, brand and product naming, packing and brand colors, brand copy and positioning, brand artwork and characters. This same day, branding company also disabled the bakery's website, eliminating the bakery's online sale abilities.
Many entrepreneurs think that just because they've purchased their logos and other creative works of art, they own them. Without a copyright assignment agreement in place, entrepreneurs are in danger of not owning the copyrights and trademark rights to any of their creative works of art. As of July 2022, Dong Phuong is still in federal litigation trying to regain ownership of their brand.