For a business looking to claim the rights to their intellectual property, websites, branding designs, logos, productions, brand mottos, work, and more, getting the material in question trademarked or copyrighted is your one-stop-shop to legal protection.
It’s a thriving market out there, and if you’ve ever searched for a domain name, you know that there can sometimes be a lot of overlap when it comes to brand uniqueness – not to mention the crooks who like to pass off your own hard work as theirs for monetary gain.
But thankfully, however, though a long process, getting your own trademark or copyright is relatively easy.
Trademarking is for gaining exclusive use of your business’ name, product names, logo, slogans, branding designs, and more.
Achieved by first deciding what you want to trademark and combing through the internet and competition for any potential similarities already existing, if the material is indeed unique enough to not cause any consumer confusion, a trademark application to the USPTO can be filled out by you and your attorney.
After submission, it usually takes 3-6 months before an USPTO agent can review the application and clear it for the opposition stage, after which it’s held for another few months to give others a chance to appeal the trademark if there’s an issue with similarities. If no one comes forward, the trademark will be finalized.
Though a copyright isn’t required under federal law to protect your rights to any original works or products you may have created – such as books, music, photography, or even computer code – it can be used as an argument end-all in the event legal issues do arise; serving as an added barrier of protection for your business.
To apply for a copyright, owners must submit an application, much like for a trademark, to the Copyright Office along with the full material needing the copyright and any proof of ownership/creation you have. All loopholes must be considered, so be extensive when it comes to providing evidence of authorship.
For both copyrighting and trademarking, the process is long, so if you’re considering it, start the submissions now so that it’s in place before potential road bumps can crop up!
(This information was provided by DeAnn Chase of Chase Law Group, who can be contacted at (310) 545-7700 for queries.)