Logos are typically unique, reflecting a business or company's brand and style. It seems as if no one would dare to take an existing logo and use it for his or her own purposes, but it actually happens quite often. Sometimes, they attempt to tweak the logo just enough to make it seem different. For example, the logo's color may be altered or something might be added to the logo's initial design.
It is one thing to use an existing logo for inspiration, but it is something else altogether to outright steal the design and insert another business name. Victims of this kind of theft can actually suffer serious harm such as loss of clientele, especially if the stolen logo appears within the branding of a company in the same industry.
Unfortunately, many people think intellectual property litigation is not an option unless another business uses their logo exactly as designed. It is important to understand that this is not always the case. No formula exists to calculate how much someone can change an existing logo and remain within the confines of the law. As such, the law provides a variety of legal solutions to make you whole again if another party misappropriates your company logo.
A wise course of action for victims of intellectual property theft in California is to consult with a lawyer. This opens many doors for you that could lead to a satisfactory legal remedy. For best results, it is a good idea to look for an experienced law firm with a solid history of successful intellectual property litigation.
Source: Graphic Artists Guild, "Trademark, Copyright, and Related Legalities," Linda Joy Kattwinkel, accessed July 12, 2017