Copyrights and trademarks are two of the most commonly used forms of intellectual property to protect creative works. Intellectual property is intangible property that is the product of your intellect. The protection and maintenance of these rights is essential to the creative’s ability to monetize their efforts.
For trademarks, this begins with a comprehensive search which covers existing United States federal applications and registrations, as well as a breadth of common law and international results. This will help to determine whether a similar mark (brand name/logo/slogan) is already in use. The mark will then need to be analyzed for a likelihood of confusion, descriptiveness, and genericness – all of which are grounds for rejection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Copyrights, which grant creators the rights to determine who, what, and when someone may use their original work, may be registered (or preregistered prior to completion and publication) by filing an application with the United States Copyright Office. Copyrights cover a range of creative works including: music, poetry, fiction, paintings, and most commonly, photographs.
While it may appear that just about anything can be trademarked or copyrighted, it’s extremely hard to define the boundaries of intellectual property because intellectual property is intangible – it cannot be held, touched, or seen. It is the ownership of the efforts stemming from your creative mind.
It’s extremely hard to define the boundaries of intellectual property because intellectual property is intangible – it cannot be held, touched, or seen. It is the ownership of the efforts stemming from your creative mind.
Because intellectual property is a little harder to define, it’s very common for the ownership of it to be in dispute. Initially, intellectual property is owned by the person who created it, however, it can be transferred, assigned or released to other persons or entities by way of agreement, relationship between the parties, transactions, operation of law or the passage of certain time periods.
Additionally, copyright and trademark rights are constitutionally granted rights, so the rights are attached immediately upon creation, so they must be protected immediately upon creation as well. Having an experienced entertainment attorney who is well versed in intellectual property rights can make all the difference in your creative and financial future.
Here are some of the copyright and trademark services we provide at Funderburg Law:
- Federal Copyright and Trademark Registration
- Assignments and Copyright Recordations
- Work for Hire Agreements
- License Agreements
- Merchandising Agreements
- Cease & Desists
- Settlement and Release Agreements
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If you would like to learn more information about copyright law and trademark law, check out our Resource tab, or download some helpful tidbits here, or visit some third-party resources mentioned below:
- 6 Reasons to Obtain a Federally Registered Trademark
- Copyright Cheatsheet
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- World Intellectual Property Organization
- United States Copyright Office