Given a logo’s importance, it goes without saying that a significant amount of time and effort must go into designing one. The last thing you want is to end up with a badly designed logo, such as the ones included in our compilation of the 15 Worst Corporate Logo Fails.

That said, it isn’t all about looks, as there are other things that you’ll have to consider before signing off on a logo. Read on to learn more about the legal aspects (and implications) that you should think about when designing a logo for your business.

Trademarking

This is one of the first issues that you’ll have to address once your logo is completed. You need to register and claim the copyrights of your logo to protect yourselves from any form of infringements by other parties. In line with this, you must have the right support when dealing with legal considerations like trademarking. Law firm Special Counsel notes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to legal matters, and every challenge ¬– especially creative ones – requires innovative answers. This can only come from lawyers who specialize in copyright and intellectual property rights to ensure that your logo and business‘ image are protected in every way.

An example of this going sideways for a company is Muji’s recent failed trademark appeal in China. MSN reports how Muji was required to pay $89,000 to the Chinese company Beijing Cottonfield Textile Corp due to a translation issue that caused Muji to infringe on the company’s trademark.

Ransom Policies

Another thing you have to be wary of is when you have another party involved in the designing process of your logo. There are policies in place to ensure that the designer doesn’t use the logo you asked them to create for their purposes, and that the logo belongs to you alone. You have to double-check that the designer signs all the rights over to your business, making sure you go through every minute detail to avoid complications.

An example of this going wrong is the case of professional NBA basketball player Kawhi Leonard. Leonard developed a logo with Nike when he first signed with them in 2014, but once Leonard signed a new deal with New Balance, he found out that the rights to the logo that he claims he designed with Nike belonged to the company and not to him.

Unintended Interpretations

Lastly, something you’ll want to avoid is for your logo to cause public uproar due to an oversight in its design. You need to be thorough when designing your logo, as the imagery, colors, or characters you use may result in some unintended interpretations from the public. Intentional or not, this could lead to some very real repercussions – not to mention the possible PR disaster that you’ll have on your hands.

Nike appears once again on this list, but this time they’re on the losing side of the argument. Nike’s Air Max 270, which debuted in the early part of 2018, faced a lot of scrutiny from the Muslim community due to the shoe’s logo’s close resemblance to the Arabic word for “Allah”. Nike ended up recalling 38,000 pairs and donating $50,000 to an Islamic elementary school in the United States.