R Griggs Group Ltd and others v Evans and others: ChD 2 Dec 2003

An advertising agency was requested to provide a logo. It employed an independent designer. Who owned the copyright, in this case of the AirWair logo? The defendants had taken an assignment of the copyright from the first author. The claimants sought a declaration as to its ownership.
Held: It was possible for copyright and trade marks rights in the same logo to belong to different people. ‘When a free-lance designer is commissioned to create a logo for a client, the designer will have an uphill task if he wishes to contend that he is free to assign the copyright to a competitor. This is because, in order to give business efficacy to the contract, it will rarely be enough to imply a term that the client shall enjoy a mere licence to use the logo, and nothing more. In most cases it will be obvious, it will ‘go without saying’, that the client will need further rights. He will surely need some right to prevent others from reproducing the logo. ‘ Here the designer must have known that the copyright would reside with the client.


Peter Prescott QC


[2003] EWHC 2914 (Ch), [2004] FSR (31) 673




Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 11


England and Wales


CitedRobin Ray v Classic FM Plc PatC 18-Mar-1998
Contractor and Client Copyrights
The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract.
Held: A Joint authorship claim required that the contributor had made some direct . .

Cited by:

See alsoR Griggs Group Ltd and others v Evans and others (No 2) ChD 12-May-2004
A logo had been created for the claimants, by an independent sub-contractor. They sought assignment of their legal title, but, knowing of the claimant’s interest the copyright was assigned to a third party out of the jurisdiction. The claimant . .
Appeal fromR Griggs Group Ltd, R Griggs and Co Ltd, Airwair Ltd v Evans, Raben Footwear Pty Ltd, Lewy, Lewy CA 25-Jan-2005
The claimants distributed Doc Marten footwear. They asked an agency to prepare a logo. The agency paid an independent contractor to prepare it, but did not take an assignment of copyright to it. The contractor sold the rights in the logo to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.188540