Copyright Law in Maryland
Unfortunately there are bad faith actors that are seeking to take advantage wherever they can. Whether intentionally, or unintentionally, it is not uncommon for people to misuse the intellectual property of another. Because of this fact, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced copyright attorney in Maryland. Especially if you are interested in protecting your intellectual property. This area of the law is nuanced, but they can help guide you and help you protect what is yours.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Maryland 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 Maryland 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:
- Product packages
- Name of the business
- Name of the product or service
According to the Maryland Secretary of State, there are three main steps that an entity must take in order to trademark or copyright intellectual property. These steps include:
- Filing the Trademark Application with the Secretary of State’s Office
- Providing 3 examples of the specified mark used in commerce
- Paying the accompanying $50 application fee
Unknown to the uninitiated, you cannot simply file for a trademark as protection. You must show examples of the trademark in use. This is because trademark laws are designed to prevent consumer confusion. There is also an online database provided that allows you to search the state for the current trademarks in use.
How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?
The time it takes for you to receive your trademark depends upon several various factors. The City of Douglas states that if there are no objections or problems with your application, you can receive your trademark in as little as 4 months. However, if you receive objections to the application it can be well over 18 months before the process is resolved. If you do get an objection to your application it may be in your best interest to consult an experienced Maryland copyright attorney. He or she can help you as you seek to overcome any hurdles in the path of receiving your trademark.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your Maryland 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 Maryland 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.
Maryland 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 Maryland. 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 Maryland copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Maryland 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!