Copyright Law in Chicago, IL

Bad faith actors exist, whether or not we like to admit this fact. Such individuals can take advantage of you and your intellectual property. In order to prepare for such bad faith actors you may want to file an application for a trademark to protect your intellectual property. It may also be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in Chicago to make sure you properly navigate this process.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Chicago, Illinois 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 Chicago, IL 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 Chicago, IL business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

The Illinois Secretary of State provides online forms for entrepreneurs and designers in Chicago that are seeking to file an application for trademark protection. The state of Illinois differentiates between 3 types of trademarks; words alone that are the trademark, a design or logo that serves as the trademark, or a combination of a design or logo along with words for the mark.

WTTW reports that McDonald’s is at the center of a trademark dispute involving two simple letters. The heart of the trademark dispute centers around the letters “Mc” being used by a local cannabis shop, McHemp. McDonald’s states that this is trademark infringement upon its established identity.

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

UpCounsel states that the turnaround process for trademark applications is very fast in Chicago, and throughout the state of Illinois. Many applications have been properly vetted, and approved, within four to six weeks. However, this only holds true for applications for trademarks that are protected in Illinois.

Leaving yourself without trademark protection is a risky decision, and one that can have huge ramifications. If someone infringes upon your intellectual property, you will have no legal recourse to seek relief or damages. As such, it may be in your best interest to meet with an experienced Chicago copyright attorney to discuss the best way to protect yourself and your property.

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

The value of your Chicago, IL 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 Chicago, Illinois 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 Chicago, IL 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 Chicago, IL. 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 Chicago copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Illinois 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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