Is your business a brand as well? Are you someone who creates unique materials and assets for your business? If so, you’ve probably contemplated how to protect your intellectual property—and, as a result, you’re probably asking what the difference is between copyright and trademark. Here is all you need to know about Copyrights and Trademarks!
The difference between trademark and copyright.
A trademark protects the combination of your logo and your company or brand’s name, which we commonly refer to as a mark.
Copyright protects every word of literature, work of art, music, and other subjects of a similar kind.
Obtaining copyright in Florida.
You must register your copyright with the United States Copyright Office. The process starts with submitting your application to the Copyright Office in which you declare the type of work of art or literature you are copyrighting and paying the required fees.
The procedure for registering for a trademark.
You file with the USPTO, or United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you are a United States citizen, you may file for a trademark without an attorney. If you are not a US citizen, you must appoint a US attorney and you would apply in the same manner as you would with any other government entity when disclosing your trademark. Additionally, you would submit a sample of your logo or brand to the USPTO along with your application.
Importance of consulting an attorney before filing a trademark or copyright application.
It is particularly important to consult an attorney before filing for a trademark since it is necessary to conduct a trademark search to see whether any competing marks in the market have been registered with the USPTO. Otherwise, you risk paying the filing fee and being denied.
Even if you locate any mark, there are various factors to consider, such as whether the market is active or dormant or the likelihood of confusion.
Although many people may submit copyrights on their own, it is a good idea to have a representative who can maintain communications after your copyright is granted as a point of contact to inquire about the possibility of exploiting your copyrighted work for a profit.
For both copyrights and trademarks, you must monitor and ensure that no one is using your brand, trademark, or copyright material. Using an attorney to file would facilitate this process.
The difficulties that people may experience if they do not obtain trademark or copyright protection.
If someone files for your trademark before you do, the United States is the first to file jurisdiction, which means that you may lose the ability to file. Not having a trademark could prevent you from adequately policing your brand. Numerous institutions will require you to have a trademark registration to stop others from using your brand. For example, suppose you own a brand, and someone begins exploiting it on social media. If you want to notify the social media platform that is being used to exploit your brand that someone is using a brand that belongs to you, most social media platforms will require that you already have a trademark registered for them to remove the offending content.
For copyrights it is slightly different because publication data is considered if you were to attempt to prevent someone from using your work of art or literature.
If someone is considering starting a brand and is unaware of these factors. What steps should they take to protect their trademark and copyright, and where should they direct their efforts?
They should begin by consulting an attorney, preferably an intellectual property counsel, to ascertain their rights and determine whether they should file for a trademark or copyright protection.
Time required for a copyright or trademark to be approved.
The procedure will be different depending on whether you have already begun using your brand. If you’ve already started using your trademark in commerce, the USPTO offers a one-year expedited approval process. You may file for a trademark that you have not used yet, but have the intention to use, such filing will likely take more than a year to get approved. Copyrights can be granted for a period of one to six months. The most recent copyrights do have a more expedited process.
Role of the attorney.
You may require the assistance of an attorney to maintain your trademark. You must demonstrate that you have continued to use the mark and pay fees to the USPTO to keep it current. Additionally, you may face opposition proceedings, a legal action in which individuals object to your trademark registration.
For infringement actions, you will require the services of an attorney. If someone has infringed on your trademark or copyright and you have incurred damages, you may require the assistance of an attorney to sue for damages or to stop someone from continuing to use your trademark or copyright.
Occasionally, you will require the help of an attorney to assist you with licensing your copyright. For instance, if you copyright a song and the writer of the song wishes to sell the rights to the song or allow someone to otherwise use the music, an attorney can assist you with those contractual matters.
Cost to obtain a Copyright or registering a trademark.
The attorney fees associated with filing a Trademark or Copyright can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the filing and work to be performed.
Nonetheless, there are fixed fees that will stay the same depending on the filing which are those fees paid directly to the USPTO or the United States Copyrights office.
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