Copyright Law in Massachusetts
Massachusetts creatives deserve to get full credit for their work. In many cases, intellectual property can represent the culmination of years of sweat and determination. In order to be certain that no one abuses your work, and no one is using or misusing it without your consent, you may consider hiring the services of an experienced copyright attorney in Massachusetts.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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
Online Forms are provided for Massachusetts creatives and inventors that simplify the trademark process in the state. You are also able to send these forms in the mail, if you so choose. The Massachusetts Secretary of State affirms that a trademark application must be signed by the one registering, under penalty of perjury. The application must also include the name of the person or business registering the mark, a description of the trademark, as well as a description of the goods or services that the trademark represents. In addition, sample specimens must be provided of the mark being used in conjunction with the product.
How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?
While the USPTO states that it can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for you to, UpCounsel confirms that you can still operate your business and use the trademark while the actual approval is pending. It is imperative that you file as soon as possible, but you do not have to wait until you receive approval to conduct business under the mark.
While this process can be slow, there are certain actions you can take to shorten this timeframe. Make sure that you choose a mark that is distinguishable, but also be certain that your trademark is not too close in appearance to another well established mark. However, the most beneficial action you can take may be to hire an experienced Massachusetts copyright attorney.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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.
Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Massachusetts 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!