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What is intellectual property?

From photographs 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 use.

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