Zachary Hiller Law A Tale Of Two Logos Blog

It was the best of design, it was the worst of design… but what was it all worth? Forgive me for being a bit of a branding nerd, but I find the back stories behind the world’s most recognizable logos fascinating. That’s because a logo, when done correctly, can impact brand awareness and status. They can invoke feelings of excitement or reassurance and in the worst cases, draw all the wrong attention. So what is a logo worth if a small drawing or a catchy font can captivate consumers? In some cases, it is worth millions.

In order to protect your intellectual property, trademark and copyright registration is key. There are, however, important differences between trademark protection and copyright protection to understand. Copyrights are a form of protection for the authors of original works of authorship. This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other creative works. Copyright does not cover titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; or mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring. This type of intellectual property can be more appropriately protected by a trademark.

Take Google for example. The company is worth 367.6 Billion dollars. It is ranked number three by Forbes in the “most valuable brands” category. It goes without saying that the ubiquitous and simplistic Google Logo is incredibly valuable to the company. In fact, Google’s trademark on the brand is valued at $44 billion dollars, almost a third of its overall value. And yet, the price tag for its original design was $0. It was designed by one of the founders, Sergey Brin in 1998 using a tool called Gimp.

In that same vein, Coca-Cola’s logo was developed by its founder and cost the company nothing. Over time, the logo has altered slightly, but for the most part, has stayed true to its original design of swirling cursive strokes and large capital C’s. This consistency has led, some would suppose, to the soda brand’s ranking in the top ten most valuable trademarks for years. The Coca-Cola trademark is valued at $79.2 Billion dollars. In contrast, Coke’s competitor Pepsi paid $1,000,000 for their newest logo which has been panned by design critics and investment analysts as a bad investment.

Take a look at this infographic for a look at the most expensive, the most valuable and the most consistent brands:




While it is fun to take a look at these amazing brands and their price tags, many of you may be wonder how this applies to your business. I would offer the following thought exercise. Many of these companies didn’t immediately growth into the behemoths that they are now. They started small and over time created brands that have flourished in the marketplace. Their logos are only a small portion of that success but helped to create brand awareness that helped the companies grow over time. Now these trademarks are worth billions, in part because their founder’s protected them early on. They saw the value in a distinctive logo and they successfully integrated that intellectual property into a commodity within the corporation.

Do you have a brand that is in need of trademark protection? Contact Zach Hiller today for a free consultation.

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