Copyright Law in Greensboro, NC
Open Corporate lists many of the companies operating in North Carolina that have opted to protect their intellectual property through trademarks. These companies include Packrite, Carolina Hosiery Mills, Royal Threads, and Sports Solutions Inc. Trademarks are a way to enforce your rights should anyone attempt to use your intellectual property without permission. Greensboro residents seeking to file a trademark application may also wish to enlist the help of an experienced copyright attorney in Greensboro.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Greensboro, North 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 Greensboro, NC 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 Greensboro, NC business people and brand owners often trademark:
- Product packages
- Name of the business
- Name of the product or service
The Trademark Booklet of North Carolina provides specific instructions for Greensboro entrepreneurs and creatives to apply for a trademark to protect their intellectual property. When filing for a trademark you’ll need to:
- Research and establish if the mark is available
- Provide a detailed description of the mark
- Provide 3 samples of the mark in use with your goods or services
- Pay a non-refundable $75 application fee
How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?
The North Carolina Secretary of State provides an online database that allows Greensboro residents to search for trademarks. This way they can determine if a trade name or trademark is already in use. Many applications are set back because those applying did not properly research their mark. Then, they are forced to begin the process all over again.
However, receiving approval can be time consuming even if you’ve done your research. The USPTO affirms that receiving your trademark can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, if you are filing for a trademark on a national scale. Still, it may be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in Greensboro to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your Greensboro, NC 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 Greensboro, North 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 Greensboro, NC 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 Greensboro, NC. 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 Greensboro copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Carolina state lines.