Copyright law and trademark law are two different branches of the intellectual property tree. The key distinction between the two is the type of protection afforded, and who the laws seek to protect. Copyright law protects artists from having their artwork used without permission. Trademark law protects consumers from buying products that do not originate from the understood source, and companies from competitors trying to trade off their goodwill. In other words, if a consumer buys shoes with SWOOSHES on them, the consumer should be able to rest assured that they came from Nike.
Sometimes, though, a work will be covered by both of these wonderful regimes. That is, a trademark, meant to protect the consumer, will be artistic and creative enough to also enjoy copyright protection. We may see such a work below.
And this work, the evidence seems to show, was swiped by those endorphin-loving running men (and women) up in Berkeley. Such an infringement would surely give paws to any artist. Independent creation could also be afoot, though, so we will have to grin and bear it for the time being.
-AttorneyScott ([email protected])
Since at least 2010, Gus Trans has been using the below-pictured (and adorable) bear as its logo, designed by Flooris Voorveld. Sadly, it appears that The Berkeley Half Marathon is now using an identical logo for their event and merchandise. Pretty blatant.
Additional evidence can be found below: