Trademarks vs. Copyrights
Copyrights and trademarks are two distinct forms of intellectual property protection, and each safeguards the property in question for a unique reason.
The main purpose of copyrights is to protect original works of composition, such as literary, artistic, musical, and other creative works. This protection only covers the way a notion is expressed; it does not cover the concept itself. Owners of copyrights are able to prevent others from using their creations without their consent and have the sole right to reproduce, distribute, and show them.
The use of words, phrases, symbols, or designs to recognize and distinguish the source of goods or services offered by one party from those offered by other parties is protected by trademarks. These may be letters, words, statements, figures, or patterns. Trademark owners have the sole right to use their names in association with the products or services they offer. Furthermore, trademark owners have the right to prevent third parties from using confusingly identical marks that might mislead consumers into thinking that various products or services are produced by the same company.
In a nutshell, copyrights safeguard creative works, whereas trademarks protect the branding of products and services as well as their individual identities.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive image, word, phrase, design, or combination of these that is used to identify a company, brand, or product. A trademark essentially serves as a distinguishing identifier for a specific firm, allowing it to distinguish its goods and services from those of other businesses. Trademarks are commonly used on items or their packaging in addition to advertising, promotional materials, and other communications. A trademark is used to create a trustworthy and identifiable brand identity that clients may associate with a specific company or product. Businesses can register their trademarks with government agencies to prevent others from using similar names or designs. Intellectual property law protects trademarks and by doing so, a company’s reputation and brand value, which is essential for starting and maintaining a successful firm. By registering the mark, a company can obtain legal ownership of the trademark as well as the exclusive right to use it in connection with its products and services.
To help customers recognize their products and services from those of other businesses, every business needs trademarks..
Legal protection for a federal trademark comes from your use of the mark in inter-state or inter-latta commerce. Trademark registration shifts the burden and assists with damages. State trademarks only assist with rights in the particular state. In the US and other countries with similar regulatory bodies, trademarks are registered with the federal governments. In the US, an application is submitted to the appropriate agency that includes the mark’s graphics, verbiage, and products or services. The application must be unique and not confusingly similar from other trademark registrations. The application is examined to determine whether it satisfies the requirements for legal registration. If approved, the trademark is published in the official gazette and available to anyone who believes it could be harmful to them. In the event that no opposition is brought forward, during the publication period, or the opposition is unsuccessful, the trademark owner is issued a certificate of registration. The ® symbol indicates that the mark is registered.
Businesses should prioritize trademark registration as a sizeable percent of the value of a company is based on its own and in good standing intellectual property.
The protection of copyright is a legal concept that provides the authors of original works with the sole right to use, publicize, distribute, and market their works. The purpose of the system of copyright is to provide the writers of new works with the opportunity to make a profit off of their work in order to encourage the creation of new works.
The amount of time that a work is covered by copyright varies depending on the sort of work as well as the country. For instance, in the United States, for works created after January 1, 1978, the protection provided by copyright laws usually lasts for the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years. After that time period, anyone may use the work because it is regarded as being public domain.
The provisions of the copyright law, known as fair use, or fair dealing, enable, for a limited use of protected works to be made without prior authorization for purposes such as criticism, commentary, or the reporting of news, as well as, teaching, scholarship, or research.
IP Policing: Enforcing your Trademark and Copyright Rights
When you register your trademark or copyright, you are required to protect your rights; re search for and enforce your rights. Even though the laws of the United States of America do not allow anyone else to register a trademark that is similar to yours, you are the only person who can safeguard your trademark rights if it is used for commercial purposes. If you own the trademarks in question, you can protect them using one of several different legal strategies. Complaints of trademark infringement can be submitted either in writing or verbally.
How much money does it cost to trademark a logo or copyright a work of art?
The costs of pursuing trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property protection depends on if a person wishes to do the filing themselves, use an attorney or other third party and they type of filing. The cost could be as low as $35. The US Copyright offices’ filing fees may be found here. https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s fees are listed here. https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/fees-and-payment/uspto-fee-schedule
Can a Logo be Copyrighted?
Maybe is the answer. A work can be registered for copyright if it is a “original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a). In the copyright context, the word “original” consists of two components: independent creation and sufficient creativity. Copyright protection can be given to works with just “a small amount of creativity.” Copyright doesn’t cover “words and short phrases like names, titles, slogans, familiar symbols or designs, and simple changes to typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring.” 37 C.F.R. § 202.1(a). When a work only has parts that can’t be protected, it must put those parts together or arrange them in a creative way to meet the law’s requirements.
Steps on How to Copyright a work of art
Original works of authorship are automatically protected by copyright law from the time they are created. Registering your original work with the Copyright Office gives you more legal security and enhances your legal claims in the event of an infringement. Here are the steps on how to copyright a work of art:
- Create your art work: Before you can register your art, you must create an original design that meets the requirements for originality required for copyright protection. This means that your art should not be a copy of or a derivative of a current design, but should instead be sufficiently original.
- Determine eligibility: Copyright protection is only available for original works of writing that have been permanently fixed in a tangible form of expression.
- File for copyright registration: You can register your original works with the U.S. Copyright Office by submitting an application, the required fee, and a copy of your original works. The application can be sent in by mail or online.
Greenberg & Lieberman, LLC are Intellectual Property Lawyers for decades and are recognized across the United States and Internationally as one of the leading litigators of Intellectual Property Law. Contact us today if you have questions about your IP Rights or believe your intellectual property rights have been infringed.