A good logo should be distinctive, unique and memorable. It should capture the essence of a business or organization with appropriate imagery, colors and typography. A designer should NEVER try to mimic or copy another existing logo; it is a BAD idea and may lead to logo trademark infringement !
An organization’s logo is an essential part of their brand, and the trademark owner should—and will—go to great lengths to protect any infringement on their brand.
On April 23, 2015 the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce sued the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce for trademark infringement on their logo. In the Denver Business Journal, Kelly Brough who is the president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the new Colorado Cannabis Chamber’s logo looked too similar to the existing Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce logo and diluted their brand.
When the public sees two similar logos, sometimes the assumption is made they are somehow connected or associated with one another. The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce didn’t want the public to confuse their organization with a pot-business promoter. The Denver Metro Chamber first sent notices to the Cannabis Chamber and requested they change their logo design. When the Denver Metro Chamber did not see any changes made to the infringing logo, they filed the lawsuit with the Colorado District Court.
Shown below is the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s logo and the infringing logo from Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce:
Do you see a case for logo trademark infringement ?
I see these similar elements:
- Concentric yellow-gold and red circles representing a sun in the background
- The sun is sliced at a 45-degree angle
- The typography is stacked, flush left in grey, in a similar font, in all caps
- The block of type is positioned to the right of the graphic
- The words “of commerce” are smaller and are all on the last line
- A green left to right “swoosh” line under the central element
In June, the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce redesigned their logo to settle the dispute. Shown below is the new design. It is distinctive with symbolic imagery that readily identifies with their industry. It should serve them well.