A week or two ago I set up a fan page on Facebook for Hummingbird Hollow Pottery Studio. Before setting it up I did a quick search and was shocked to see my logo pop up when I put in Hummingbird Hollow.
At first I thought I had lost whatever clay-soaked brain cells were left and that I'd already set a page up and forgotten... but nope, I can still lay claim to some form of sanity! Some cheap, cheesy you-know-what stole my logo.
Yep, took it, copied it, pasted it, deleted the word "studio" and voila, he had a logo. Some guy in Mystic, Connecticut is putting together a new development named Hummingbird Hollow. From doing a search I gather he's pulled back the request from the city council for now, possibly due to the economy, who knows.
He had a fan page on Facebook for the development. I became a fan just so I could post a message, then let my friends (on my main Facebook account) know about the duplicity, the theft. Within a few days he'd taken the page down.
However, I'm keeping an eye on him, doing periodic searches to make sure he creates his own stinkin' logo in the future. I kinda hope that maybe he's simply someone who has a large piece of property that he's wanting to develop and maybe he just didn't think when setting up the fan page on Facebook. Maybe when I brought it to his attention, that ended the problem. I hope so.
I used to be a graphic designer, create logos. I made my logo, created it from scratch and have many hours and designs to prove it.
I've already talked to my lawyer, and contacted the state to find out what the next step will be if he continues to use my copyrighted work...
I'm sharing this with you mainly to suggest that 1) you trademark if you can afford it and 2) you do periodic searches on the Internet for your business name to make sure it's yours.
If you had a designer create your logo, make sure you have documentation with the time frame as that could be important. Throw it in a file and hang onto the info.
I'm sure there are lots of other things you could and should do... if you have an attorney they're your best bet (albeit the most expensive route) for protecting your creative work.