If I outsource logo design, am I liable if I unintentionally sell my client a plagiarized design?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I outsource logo design, am I liable if I unintentionally sell my client a plagiarized design?

I would like to establish a logo design business and plan on outsourcing the work
to offer competitive pricing. Assuming one of those foreign designers provides me
with a plagiarized design, which I unknowingly sell to a client, could that
client successfully sue me?

Asked on January 29, 2017 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the client could potentially sue you on at least two different grounds:
1) breach of contract--not providing an original logo (or one they could legally use), and so not honoring your obligations; and/or 
2) to recover any losses they suffered due to your either negligent (i.e. careless) or deliberate passing off of a logo belonging to someone else to them, making them liable for trademark or copyright infringement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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