Copyright is the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc. It is intrinsic in the UK (no need to apply for it) and copyright works are protected for 50 years after the death of the author.
Copyright,or rather the ownership of copyright, is a potentially critical issue in the protection of a brand. The reason for this is that many businesses forget, or do not realise, that the person or company who creates their logo and the other visual elements of their brand own the copyright to that work.
This can cause problems with your logo and brand because you will be promoting your business using materials that you do not own. In the worst case scenario a business could spend years building a brand identity and reputation only to have the visual elements taken away by the owner of the copyright.
The good news is that this is a relatively easy issue to resolve by a simple assignation of copyright from the designer to your business. This is best time to deal with this is before entering into an agreement with the brand design agency – when you have the most influence over the brand design contract. Most reputable design agencies will include assignation of copyright as a standard part of their contract.