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I received a request today for a quote for one of my images (a silhouette of a bird) to be used as a logo for a company. The prospective client saw the image on my website and contacted me direct.  In my response I requested the usual - duration, exclusivity, etc etc but then I started to think about if they were anticipating registering the logo as a trade mark which opens up a whole different can of worms!  If they were not going to pay for exclusivity, how were they going to register MY image as a trade mark?  

 

Has anyone come across this before?  Thoughts would be much appreciated.  This will probably all fall over if its just a time waster but for future reference, it would be handy to know what to do.  

 

Sheila

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Why not simply tell them want your requirement for the license is? And that is entirely up to you. I know what I would do. If someone or a corporation wanted perpetual rights to an image including registering it as a logo, then they could have it. But on negotiated terms only, and it would be expensive. The $$ amount would be your decision alone I would think.

 

Ken

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Rather than aiming for a whopping one-off fee, perhaps think about taking a lead from our favourite software firm? Define the business sector firmly and charge an annual fee of something like $95 a year for a small player to $195 a year for something more substantial. They may think they will only use it for a year or two or you might forget. Perhaps a fee review after five years?

 

Then they run it for ten years and you don't forget to invoice. You're quids in and they don't notice the pain. The way things seem to be going these days

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Rather than aiming for a whopping one-off fee, perhaps think about taking a lead from our favourite software firm? Define the business sector firmly and charge an annual fee of something like $95 a year for a small player to $195 a year for something more substantial. They may think they will only use it for a year or two or you might forget. Perhaps a fee review after five years?

 

Then they run it for ten years and you don't forget to invoice. You're quids in and they don't notice the pain. The way things seem to be going these days

 

I think this is a great idea . . . charging a lesser annual fee may be more attractive to smaller players especially . . .  and while it does tie the image up for the duration of the license period, there may be a way around even that:  perhaps you can frame the terms in such a way that stipulated "other" uses are open to you that won't compromise the logo. Images in logos are often modified or stylised and using the original image elsewhere (increased revenue stream for photographer) may not be impossible.

 

Hmmmm . . . not sure how it would all look, but definitely an idea worthy of more thought and discussion.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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Rather than aiming for a whopping one-off fee, perhaps think about taking a lead from our favourite software firm? Define the business sector firmly and charge an annual fee of something like $95 a year for a small player to $195 a year for something more substantial. They may think they will only use it for a year or two or you might forget. Perhaps a fee review after five years?

 

Then they run it for ten years and you don't forget to invoice. You're quids in and they don't notice the pain. The way things seem to be going these days

 

I think this is a great idea . . . charging a lesser annual fee may be more attractive to smaller players especially . . .  and while it does tie the image up for the duration of the license period, there may be a way around even that:  perhaps you can frame the terms in such a way that stipulated "other" uses are open to you that won't compromise the logo. Images in logos are often modified or stylised and using the original image elsewhere (increased revenue stream for photographer) may not be impossible.

 

Hmmmm . . . not sure how it would all look, but definitely an idea worthy of more thought and discussion.

 

dd

+1  Out of the box thinking!!! ;)

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Annual pricing sounds like a good idea, but I'd suggest a bit of research first. If they're a professionally run and well-established company, you probably have little to worry about. But if they've only recently started, you might want to try to get as much money as you can up front (e.g. initial fee plus annual fee from the first year onwards, or all up front) - something like 70% of start-ups fail in the three years. And even if it's an established SMB, I'd ask some probing questions about how they keep track of IP licences - many have no idea how to do this, and if they get taken over by another SMB, the new one might not always ask the right questions beforehand. So there's a possibility of them losing track of things. If the company has a proper IP register, it will help with this. I do a lot of work with SMBs of a certain category in Australia, in my day job ;-) 

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Thanks for all the advice.  It's a very small start up business and she didn't want to register the logo as a trade mark.  She just wanted to use the outline of the silhouette and in hindsight, I am grateful in these "saw it on Google and thought it was free" days that she contacted me at all!  I suggested two terms, three years or five years and she accepted the latter. 

 

Sheila

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