Copyright Law in Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids residents deserve full protection when it comes to their intellectual property, and that includes trademarks. If you engage the services of a copyright attorney in Grand Rapids, you will have an experienced voice that can help you navigate the path forward, and get the full protection that is offered under the law.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Grand Rapids, Michigan 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 Grand Rapids, MI 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 Grand Rapids, MI business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs provides a brief overview of the application process for those residents of Grand Rapids who are seeking trademark protection. The application must be completed, signed, and returned to the office accompanied by a non-refundable $50 filing fee. In addition, you’ll have to attach two 8 ½ x 11 inch samples of the mark as used with the goods or services on which it appears.

Every applicant in Grand Rapids should be aware that trademark laws are not enacted to protect property. The major designation for trademarks is to protect consumers. Trademarks are generally used to prevent consumer confusion, or to prevent bad actors from preying on consumer naivety.

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

It’s important to remember that the application process can be lengthy, and even frustrating The Zell Entrepreneurship Clinic affirms that timing is incredibly important when establishing your trademark. It may take a period of between 12-18 months to even receive your trademark.  You will also have to maintain its upkeep and reapply whenever the protection ends. Even if you have received your trademark, if an applicant does not use the trademark in commerce for a period extending over 3 years, the trademark is considered abandoned.

Copyright and trademark law requires someone with experience and knowledge so that mistakes and misunderstandings can be avoided when filing a trademark application. While any Grand Rapids entrepreneur is free to go it alone, it is not always the best decision. There are many highly experienced copyright attorneys in Grand Rapids that can help you file applications and help you keep your trademark once it is established.

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

The value of your Grand Rapids, MI 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 Grand Rapids, Michigan 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 Grand Rapids, MI 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 Grand Rapids, MI. 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 Grand Rapids copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Michigan 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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