you may take or articles you may write to the symbols you choose to stand for your business operations, you should
consider whether you want to freely open your creative work -- your intellectual property -- to everyone for their use or
whether you want to protect what you have made. Many individuals and businesses large and small give little thought to this
concept -- in fact, many people think about protecting their work only after someone else has appropriated it for outside
JMT Law can help you to analyze
your current creations and to plan for protecting any new ideas you may develop. From securing a process as a trade
secret to filing to obtain formal trademark or copyright registration, JMT Law will give you your options so that you are
comfortable that the fruits of your labors are secure.
Isn't it expensive to register a copyright or trademark?
Though common law copyright still exists -- meaning you can protect a copyrighted work in
this country without registering with the US Government by taking a few simple legal steps -- if you want to keep your artistic
or written work secure, registering a copyright with the United States Copyright Office (part
of the Library of Congress) does offer some advantages:
1. It establishes a public record of your copyright; this may help to prevent misappropriation
of your work.
2. If someone
infringes on your copyright, you must register if you want to sue in court.
3. Registration within 5 years of publication is recognized in court as evidence of your copyright's
validity and of the facts stated in your registration filing.
4. Registration before any infringement occurs may give you the right to added damage
recovery plus attorney's fees in a civil action.
5. You may record your registered copyright with the U.S. Customs Service to guard against
imported infringing copies.
Trademarks have similar protection
under the law: if you want to claim a symbol or logo as a trademark, you have to take at least a few simple legal steps to
protect it, but registration gives you similar advantages to copyright registration.
How much protecting a copyright or trademark will cost will depend on several factors. If you're interested
in a consultation, please send an e-mail to JMTLaw@PlainEnglishLaw.com.