DESIGN means: The methods you use to form a idea into a visual structure.
CONCEPT means: An idea you form into a design.
OBVIOUS means: When looking at the brief, some concepts or ideas are clear to a skilled designer.
1) Look at the brief, references and key words.
2) Certain ideas or design methods may seem more necessary or preferred.
3) Perform an image search with key words and the word "logo".
That will often produce multiple logos with similar basic concepts or design methods. For most contests, such would not be protected on a basic level.
If you and another Designer disagree on such an issue, you can use the Resolutions Forum and Logo Court to resolve the dispute.
Note: Obvious concepts may be used at any time during a contest.
Sometimes, certain design methods may be considered obvious, usually depending on information contained in the brief. Please use such design methods only after consulting with Admin.
A Basic Example Scenario:
Company Name: Blue Bear Accounting
Obvious concepts might include: a blue bear, accounting graphs, arrow swooshes, basic money symbols.
Protected concepts might include: combination of a blue bear standing erect in front of an accounting graph, a blue bear walking in front of "BBA".