Who is the first owner of copyright?

The principle, which often catches businesses out, is that the creator of the ‘work’ is the first owner of the copyright. This means that if you contract with a third party design agency to create, for example, a new logo or brand, the agency will own the copyright in the logo or brand until there is a formal, written assignment. Similarly, if you are working with a freelance designer, you will need to take an assignment from that individual to transfer ownership of the copyright to you.

How we can help

We can help you to identify who owns the copyright in a work and arrange for the legal ownership of this to be transferred to the correct owner. While this can be a relatively inexpensive and straightforward process, our experience shows that if terms are not agreed at the outset of a commercial relationship, this issue can quickly become more complicated and expensive to resolve.

Some of our team

Dr Martin Neilson

Partner - Leeds

Alison Cole

Senior Trade Mark Attorney - London

Dr Neil Pawlyn

Partner - Cardiff

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+44 330 107 5077

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