Copyright Law in Hawaii

Hawaii Business Magazine ranks these the most valuable companies in the state: HMSA, Hawaiian Electric Industries, and Matson, Inc.

Do you have dreams of surpassing one of these significant and successful companies? Or are you ready to take your existing business to the next level?

We have what you need to get started in the paragraphs below. Spend five minutes reading this article, and you will know how to evaluate what you need to accomplish your goals.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Hawaii some protection from those who attempt 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. Technically, a piece of work doesn’t require copyright registration for protection under the US copyright law. However, you should register your product in Hawaii with the help of a copyright lawyer. This can offer you several unique advantages. By doing this you can:

  • Protect 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 is 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 business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs handles registering trademarks in Hawaii. The current filing fee is $50, but you can pay $20 more for an expedited review. If you have questions, you can contact them for assistance. To get started, business owners can call 808-586-2727 or email the staff.

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

According to he USPTO, registering a trademark takes at least a year. However, business owners in Hawaii may have to wait eighteen months or more. The timelines published by the federal government identify five different scenarios. They are as follows:

  • Current use of a trademark in regards to goods or services provided
  • Having the intention of using the trademark material for business purposes imminently
  • Owning a foreign application filed within six months of submitting a U.S. application
  • Possessing a trademark from another country

Applying for a copyright does not require nearly the same waiting period. The federal government expects to resolve these applications in a little over three months. But, this fact should not lead a business leader to believe it’s a simple achievement. While there’s less time involved, the high expectations used for a trademark still apply.

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

The value of your Hawaii 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. Because of this, if people use those assets without your permission, you can and should file a lawsuit against them for infringement under copyright law.

While trademarks and copyrights protect intellectual property, they cover two different aspects. Copyright registration protects artistic and literary works, such as videos and books. On the other hand, a trademark registration protects brand components. This could 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 of the magazines that you have published.

Work With an Experienced Hawaii 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.

Hawaii copyright lawyers 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 help determine the value of the intellectual property that you own.

An intellectual property lawyer also assesses the quality of the assets. They will look at the number of assets licensed under your name or your business in Hawaii. 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 Hawaii copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Hawaii 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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