Copyright Law in Charleston, SC

Do you have dreams of capitalizing on a brilliant idea?

According to CHS Today, Charleston is at the heart of the state economy. It often feels like all roads in South Carolina lead to the city. But, how do you take advantage of this prime location and protect your interests?

The most successful companies in the U.S. hold and apply for copyrights or trademarks constantly. Whether you need to protect yours or obtain one for the first time, you will find something you need to know today.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Charleston, South Carolina 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 Charleston, SC 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 Charleston, SC business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

The South Carolina Secretary of State registers trademarks for businesses in Charleston. After registration, you will retain the right to the mark for the next five years. The current application must arrive with a payment of $15 per class. However, broader protections are available from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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

The USPTO admits that obtaining a trademark can be a complicated and extensive ordeal for applicants. Proof of this complexity exists in the published timelines for applications and post-registration. For example, different procedures are necessary for a business in Charleston that:

  • Currently uses the mark for their goods and services
  • Intend to utilize the intellectual property for business operations in the near future
  • Filed for a foreign-issued trademark within six months of a U.S. application
  • Own legally-issued protection from another country

In total, registering a trademark should take entrepreneurs an estimated twelve to eighteen months. Working with the U.S. Copyright Office should not be as long of an endeavor. They can resolve most of their filings in three and a half months.

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

The value of your Charleston, SC 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 Charleston, South Carolina 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 Charleston, SC 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 Charleston, SC. 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 Charleston copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across South Carolina 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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