What to do if my logo design was used without payment which was not discussed?

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What to do if my logo design was used without payment which was not discussed?

I designed a logo for a former friend who opened up a business, the logo was designed and has been used on print materials for the store for a good year and a half now. Do I have a case at all? Payment was discussed but never fully in person.

Asked on April 1, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Did you or didn't you have a payment negotiated? It would be dangerous to do something without first negotiating a payment. If you do have something in writing, you may want to send a demand letter before considering other options.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what you mean by "discussed." If there was an agreement that you would be paid for your work (even if not every detail was finalized), that agreement is enforceable, even if it was an oral agreement. (Though note: the statute of limitations in CA for an oral agreement is only two years, so if there was an agreement, you need to file a lawsuit soon to enforce it--once two years passes, it's too late to take action.)

On the other hand, if there was no agreement to pay, just some discussion about whether you should or should not be paid, but you provided the logo to your former friend before getting his agreement to pay for it, then there is a good chance you would be held to have gifted the logo to him and be unable to charge after the fact.


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