Copyright Law in Austin, TX

Creatives in Austin give a good portion of their time and livelihood in order to bring new designs and ideas to the marketplace. Because of this, you should take every precaution to be sure that your intellectual property is protected from any bad faith actor. To further this, you may want to seek the expertise of an experienced Austin copyright attorney.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Austin, Texas some protection from those who try to steal their idea.

A novel creation receives copyright protection when it becomes fixed into a tangible form. Copyright law dictates how to establish this ownership. Additionally, it explains how to register intellectual property or defend against infringement.

Copyright registration is a type of public record for ownership. A piece of work doesn’t require copyright registration for protection under the US copyright law. However, you should register your product in Austin, TX with the help of a copyright lawyer, as this can offer you several unique advantages:

  • Protects your work against the importation of copies that infringe the registration. Your registration will be recorded with the United States Customs and Border Protection.
  • If your work is already registered in the United States, you can proceed with an infringement lawsuit; otherwise, you will have to register it first.
  • The IP owner can seek damages and attorney fees if a copyright registration happens within three months of publication (or prior to an infringement claim).
  • If a copyrighted work becomes registered outside of the three-month time frame, you may seek actual damages that you lost.
  • Copyright registration will identify each public record of its existence. This action puts the copyright protection into public notice for the piece of work that you’ve created and/or own.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, symbol, design, or phrase that distinguishes you from another company. Service marks are a type of trademark that a company will use when providing services to the public. Technically, trademarks are a form of intellectual property. It also forms part of the company’s brand, even if they no longer use it.

Here are some of the components that established Austin, TX business people and brand owners often trademark:

  • Logos
  • Symbols
  • Product packages
  • Name of the business
  • Name of the product or service
  • Designs

The Office of the Secretary of State of Texas provides a brief overview of the trademark process for those residing in Austin. It provides the proper paperwork for applying for new trademarks, renewing trademarks, and changing ownership of a trademark.

When applying for your trademark, you should be aware that any mistakes or setbacks can delay the process. You’ll have to pay a $50 filing fee for a state trademark application in Austin, but the fee goes up substantially if you are filing at the federal level. When filing a federal trademark application the filing fee is $325.

How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?

Depending on the type of trademark protection you are filing for, state or federal, your wait time to receive a trademark can be anywhere from 4 months to 18 months. The longer aspect of this wait time is generally due to application mistakes. If this happens, someone has flagged your application for further review and it will contribute to your wait time.

KVUE reports that Violet Crown Cinemas, a movie theater chain operation in Austin and throughout Texas, is suing for infringement upon its trademarked name. A separate business entity is attempting to open the Violet Crown Amphitheater. As trademark laws exist to prevent confusion, Violet Crown Cinemas has sued for an immediate injunction, and a halt to the project.

What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?

The value of your Austin, TX business depends on the assets it owns. It’s important to note that the most valuable assets are not always physical or financial. Your intellectual property counts as assets too. Due to this, if people use those assets without your permission, you can file a lawsuit for infringement.

While trademarks and copyrights protect intellectual property, they cover two different aspects. Copyright registration protects artistic and literary works, such as videos and books. A trademark registration protects brand components. This can be a jingle, a logo, or a mascot of your organization.

Take, for example, if you own a magazine publishing company. You would trademark the logo and the name of your company. However, you would also place copyright protection on all the magazines that you have published.

Work With an Experienced Austin, Texas Copyright Lawyer

Do you have an idea that needs protection under intellectual property law? If so, complete the registration process as soon as possible. There is always the risk that someone else might beat you to it. This eventuality can create complications when the time comes to defend IP rights claims.

An experienced Austin, TX copyright lawyer can help you uncover if anyone else has registered a similar idea. If your concept closely resembles another, it might get rejected. Consequently, it is better to find this early than to go through the process only to get denied later. In addition, an intellectual property lawyer will help you to draft critical documents. Or, they can determine the value of the intellectual property that you own.

An intellectual property lawyer also assesses the quality of the assets. They will also look at the number of assets licensed under your name or your business in Austin, TX. This evaluation can help to maximize the entire value of all intangible assets that your company has.

Are you ready to tap into our network of Austin copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Texas state lines. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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