Copyright Law in Madison, WI

The spirit of creation drives us to new heights. These creations can improve our daily lives in ways both small and large. However, creators do not always get the credit they deserve. Unless you protect your intellectual property with a copyright or trademark, you can leave yourself open to someone using your creations without your permission. It may be in your best interest to seek out an experienced Madison copyright attorney to keep this from happening.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Madison, Wisconsin 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 Madison, WI 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 Madison, WI business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

One of the major steps in establishing your trademark is to be certain that a similar trademark does not already exist. Research is key in this element, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides research facilities for creatives and entrepreneurs to be certain that when they file their trademark application, they are not wasting their time by attempting to file a mark that is too similar to an already established one.

Once your research is completed, you can file your application with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, or the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Be sure to sign and date your application, as well as include the filing fee for processing.

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

The Wisconsin Secretary of State affirms that there is a way to speed up the process of your trademark application. For a fee of $35 you can expedite the process. However, there is still a median average of 4 to 6 months before receiving your trademark in the state. The process is even longer if you are looking for a national trademark, generally taking anywhere from between 12 to 18 months according to the USPTO.

Any mistakes or missteps in the application process can add more time to a lengthy ordeal. To avoid this you may wish to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in Madison.

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

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