Registrazione del logo di un’associazione: cosa bisogna fare
When setting up an association, whether for profit or not, it is useful to register the trademark and logo used for the related image. But how to move? How does the registration of an association’s logo work? Let’s see together what to do and why protect the hallmarks of your membership organization.
What to do before registering a logo
To be sure of designing and registering an original logo for your association, it is useful to conduct a prior search for similarity to verify that there are no other logos similar or even identical to yours. Without this research or designing a logo largely inspired by another, you can run the risk of receiving letters of warning and disputes. The search for anteriority can only be conducted on private databases , so to do so it is advisable to rely on professionals such as our office specializing in patents and trademarks.
If, on the other hand, you entrust the creation of your association’s logo to a professional and qualified graphic designer, it is highly likely that it will be able to design an original logo, which will be less likely to be challenged by third parties. However, it is not impossible that the logo has not already been registered in similar forms, therefore, the search for precedence by similarity remains a recommended procedure to be sure not to run into future disputes.
Register a figurative mark or design only
The best way to register a logo is by filing a figurative trademark , that is, not only the logo is registered but also the association’s trademark. The registered trademarks have a ten-year duration and are renewable, and guarantee numerous protections to their owners, protecting them from counterfeiting by third parties. The procedure for registering a figurative trademark is very similar to that to be carried out for traditional Italian, EU or international trademarks at the Chambers of Commerce. In addition, however, the chosen logo must be attached to the request for deposit.
An association may also register only the logo without the trademark , perhaps already registered previously. In any case, it is always advisable for associations to register their own brand , so as to protect their recognisability and identity.
Criteria for the filing of an association logo
The request to register an association’s logo must be submitted to the local Chambers of Commerce or the Rome Patent and Trademark Office . The design must meet certain criteria to be accepted:
- must be new and have no references to logos registered by third parties; if the novelty requirement cannot be met, the logo cannot be protected;
- must have an individual character, that is, not remember other people’s logos;
- it must not contain signs, coats of arms and emblems that represent a public interest of the state;
- it must not be contrary to morality.
Why should an association register the logo?
Through the figurative mark or the registration of the logo alone, it is important for associations to protect their graphic image to stand out from the others and to effectively communicate their values and goals . Especially in areas and territories where many associations coexist, it is useful to be able to protect the identity of one’s own to avoid it being copied or exploited for malicious purposes.
Practical cases on the protection of an association’s logo
Numerous associations contact us, explaining the different situations that occurred. Here are some of the most common situations:
- Former member leaving the association, what to do if he tries to use an identical logo? To prevent the former member from illegitimately using the same associative logo, it is always a good idea to include in the articles of association and in the articles of association a specific clause that preserves the exclusive ownership of the logo by the association alone. In the absence of such foresight, it will be necessary to send a letter of formal notice disputing the illegitimate behavior held by the ex-associate;
- Do you sign the logo to the founder or to the Association? It depends on who is available to support the investment. In fact, if there is the agreement to divide the investment cost among the various associates, the logo could be registered to the association. In this case, a special clause will have to be inserted in the statute / memorandum, which provides for the obligatory transfer of the share of the logo by the former member of the Association. Otherwise, if there is a willingness to support the investment by the founder only, it is advisable that he be the owner of the logo in an exclusive and personal capacity. Obviously, the aforementioned investor may grant the Association of which he is a member the free or onerous use of the logo.
If you need assistance in registering your association’s logo, contact our patent and trademark office . We will offer you advice or we will follow you in the process required for the filing of the logo and / or figurative mark.