Copyright Law in Des Moines, IA

Does your business have what it takes to become a billion dollar enterprise?

Greater Des Moines Partnership reports that the area had a GDP of $57.7 billion in 2020. If you want to claim a piece of this lucrative pie, you will need to claim intellectual property.

Unfortunately, obtaining a trademark or copyright is not as easy as filling out a form. There are multitudes of laws, regulations, and other requirements to consider. We’ve collected the essentials in this article so you can make an informed decision about what happens next.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Des Moines, Iowa 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 Des Moines, IA 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 Des Moines, IA business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

Companies in Des Moines apply to register marks with the Iowa Secretary of State. Prior to taking that action, they should use the trademark search tool. Entrepreneurs have to ensure they have a unique concept that someone else hasn’t claimed.

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

Processing wait times published by the USPTO suggest a 13.2 month wait to register a trademark. But, the federal government provides an overall estimate of twelve to eighteen months. Applicants can use the TSDR system to check their status along the way.

There are five common application mistakes that the government says are not fixable. Business owners in Des Moines should avoid:

  • Adding a party to the application that is not eligible to own the mark
  • Misidentifying the goods and services your company offers
  • Conflicting concepts with current applications or previously approved IPs
  • Attempting to trademark a generic term
  • Applying for ownership of a common phrase

The federal government claims to need less time to register copyrights. As of 2022, they anticipate that most applicants will endure a three month procedure.

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

The value of your Des Moines, IA 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 Des Moines, Iowa 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 Des Moines, IA 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 Des Moines, IA. 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 Des Moines copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Iowa 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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