Here’s a perfect example of the dangers of crowdsourcing brands. This is a “designer” on Fiverr selling the actual logo we produced originally for Timo’s Air—as has been the case dozens of times.
Remember, the threshold for infringement is whether the two brands are similar enough to be confused. If these two companies were in the same neighborhood, it’s clear that they might be confused, regardless of the colors.
The wrap design and mascot for Unique Air is clearly inspired from Duct Dudes, to the point where most people would confuse the two brands.
This company made no bones about even trying to change anything. They kept the same colors, mascot, and even the logo architecture.
This company thought that a few changes to the mascot would be enough to not commit trademark infringement.

Trademark basics: What you need to know

The dos and don’ts of staying on the right side of the law

By Dan Antonelli

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2018

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As designers, we share a responsibility in making sure we have a basic understanding of the laws surrounding the creation of artwork and how it affects our clients. There are a lot of serious issues which could arise by not knowing what’s legal and what’s not. Whether you’re being tasked with creating a logo or even a sign, a basic understanding of the law can help keep you— and your client—out of trouble.

On some level, I wish I hadn’t needed to learn so much about trademark law and trademark infringement over the years. I can remember thinking it was an interesting paradox the first time someone stole our work and used it for another client: Someone thought enough of your work to steal it.

But that bemusement disappears when you consider the reality of what’s happened. Someone has taken the intellectual property of one person, and used it without permission or compensation. And the owner of that intellectual property has had something of value stolen from them.

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Dan Antonelli owns KickCharge Creative (formerly Graphic D-Signs, Inc.) in Washington, New Jersey. His latest book, Building a Big Small Business Brand, joins his Logo Design for Small Business I and II. He can be reached at dan@kickcharge. com. Dan also offers consulting and business coaching services to sign companies. For more information, visit On Instagram: @danantonelli_kickcharge.

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