Trademarks & Copyrights
Copyrights and trademarks are the two common ways business owners go about protecting their content. But do you know the difference between the two? The terms are often (incorrectly) used interchangeably, however they have their own set of laws and apply to different types of works.
Federal trademark registration is a legal proceeding, so protecting your mark is definitely not DIY. The trademark application process is complex. If you’ve never gone through it before, it can be both confusing and frustrating. Whether you’re currently using your trademark in commerce or simply have the intent to use, I can clear up the confusion for you.
I streamline the process of trademark application, seeking the broadest amount of protection possible. I start with a search of the registry to see if your trademark is available. Once I’ve determined if it is, I follow up with comprehensive trademark applications, completing them and filing them on your behalf.
A USPTO attorney examines every application for compliance with federal laws and rules. If the application doesn’t comply, then the USPTO will send a refusal letter known as an Office Action. I will draft any responses to an Office Action.
If there are no objections from the examiner, or if you overcome all objections, the examining attorney will approve your mark for publication in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. If you receive no opposition or overcome any opposition, your mark will be registered.
Typically, copyright protection is automatic once a work has been fixed in a tangible medium of expression, such as paper, magnetic tape, film, a digital medium, or some other material object. However, registration of the work with the Copyright Office is still necessary if you intend to bring a lawsuit in Federal Court to enforce the copyright. In addition, registration provides the copyright owner procedural advantages should an infringement lawsuit ever be filed, including the ability to obtain statutory damages and attorney's fees.
Trademarks vs. copyrights
Trademarks protect the expression used to identify and distinguish a product or service in the marketplace, such as names, logos, slogans, and other commercial signifiers.
Copyright law protects "original works of authorship". Things like literary, musical, dramatic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural and audiovisual works are just some of the types of work that can be protected by copyright laws.