Copyright

Expert Trademark Services

Many people mistakenly believe that their intended business name, logo or slogan is a copyright. When in fact these intellectual property examples are actually trademarks!

Copyrights can be obtained for things of an artistic nature. This includes, of course, poetry, films, sculptures, music, fiction, etc. But can also include things that may not necessarily seem “artistic” in the general sense of the word. Copyrights can also be obtained for advertising copy, games, software programs and blueprints, to name just a few.

To fully protect a business name, Logo or slogan, apply for a Federal or State trademark.

Trademarks can be names of products or services, Logos, slogans, packaging and even sounds and smells. In essence, a trademark can be almost anything that is used to identify a particular product or service. Registering a trademark grants the owner exclusive rights to the mark within the specified industry. Greater reach against similar commercial use is gained as well, when you have a trademark.

Of course, it’s necessary to research the mark comprehensively prior to filing to ensure that there is no possibility of infringing upon another party.

Comprehensive legal research starts with the researching of billions of name records to find those that may legally affect your intended commercial use. Direct conflicts or merely uses which are merely similar in Sound, Appearance or Meaning are fully analyzed by our expert staff.

TradeMark Express comprehensively examines the USPTO trademark (2 million marks) State trademark (1 million marks in 50 States) as well as Common-Law “first use” (13 million marks) in up to 6500 paid research databases. Related goods or services matter as well!

Don’t make the mistake of Copyrighting your intended business name, Logo or slogan – when you actually have a trademark! Let TradeMark Express help you. Contact us now for a free consultation!

Scattered Assets?

Free intellectual property audit, more the merrier.

Common trademarks include business names, slogans and logo designs. Older and larger companies accumulate valuable Intellectual Property assets without sometimes taking care to properly research, trademark, periodically protect and renew State or USPTO continued use applications. Over years of time some marks may be forgotten, deadlines missed to file incontestability of a given mark, infringer’s may be allowed to eat at your rights – ultimately resulting in Acquiescence, or giving up rights to an infringer, thereby losing your valuable trademark to them. Call us for a detailed, in depth, FREE review of your Intellectual Property – and FREE written report weighted towards your needs, constraints and future plans. We’ll determine a concise plan of action and explain why and when each step should be undertaken to conserve your marks and conserve your cash. The more marks you have, the greater discount you’ll be offered! Call us today!

Don’t lose your trademark!

If you have an existing Trademark or just Common Law rights merely by using your business name, slogan or logo over time – be aware that you will give rights to another business simply by doing nothing for 6 years. Acquiescence happens by doing nothing, and not enforcing your rights over a 6 year period. To prevent this disaster, we urge periodic comprehensive research every 2-3 years -or- our regular Federal and State trademark monitoring services, including a FREE Common Law search if you purchase three 6 month cycles = 18 months of trademark monitoring. We offer both. Call us to discuss!

Having a trademark will achieve added protection against other companies’ future names, slogans or logos that are conflicting or even merely similar in sound, appearance or meaning, as well as ownership rights as protected by the USPTO. Having a trademark makes it much easier to protect your intellectual property, when you can simply show your registered or pending USPTO trademark.

A trademark is like having a silent attorney actively protecting your intellectual property 24 hours a day!

USPTO Federal trademarks last 10 years, and are indefinitely renewable every 10 years. In the 5th year, after registration some work must be done at the USPTO. A Section 8 for your Declaration of Continued Use and your recommended Section 15 Incontestability forms are due to keep your Federal Trademark alive.

In Canada, CIPO trademarks last 15 years, before renewal is needed.

You still need to actively protect your intellectual property, because the USPTO or CIPO will not do that for you. We offer a monitoring service or we recommend that you should run your comprehensive research every 2 to 3 years to find infringing companies to your property.

What is not protected by copyright?

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others :

Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression. For example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded.

Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents.

Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration.

Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship. For example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources.

For more information about copyrights, Go here.

What is a copyright?

Copyright protection is extended to “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

  • literary works
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered as “literary works”, maps and architectural plans may be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”

Is copyrighting a name the same as filing for a trademark?

No. Trade names, slogans, logo designs, etc that are used to identify a business can only be trademarked.

May book titles be trademarked?

Yes, only if they are part of a series. A single book title and its contents must be copyrighted. A trademark search still needs to be done, because the name may be trademarked.

Who may claim a copyright?

Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.

In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author. Section 101 of the copyright law defines a “work made for hire” as :

    • A work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment
    • A work specially ordered or commissioned for use as : a contribution to a collective work, a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, a test, answer material for a test and an atlas.

If the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution.

What are the two general copyright principles?

  • Mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, or any other copy or phto record does not give the possessor the copyright. The law provides that transfer of ownership of any material object that embodies a protected work does not of itself convey any rights in the copyright.
  • Minors may claim copyright, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors. For information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney.