Copyright Law in Milwaukee, WI

It’s not uncommon for an entrepreneur in Milwaukee to have his or her intellectual property infringed upon. Bad faith actors exist, and look to take advantage of customers by creating a similar brand or logo to one that you have trademarked. To combat this, it may be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in Milwaukee.

What Is Copyright Registration?

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

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

According to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, one tenet of a proper trademark application is showing several samples of the mark used in conjunction with your business. Proper examples of these samples would be letterhead or masthead with the trademark on it, business cards, advertisements, and even flyers. You’ll need to provide detailed drawings of the trademark, along with any words or phrases that accompany it. In addition, you’ll have to sign and date the application, as well as provide a $15 filing fee for each intellectual property you are wishing to trademark.

You can also use the Wisconsin Trademark Filing Guidelines and the Established Trademark Search Database to help you with your application.  Beginning in march of 2020, residents of Milwaukee can now file only in 1 of 2 ways; electronically, or through a paper application delivered by hand.

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

According to the Wisconsin Secretary of State, there is a way for Milwaukee residents to cut time from the length of the application process. For a non-refundable fee of $35 you can expedite the process, moving your application further up the line. 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.

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

The value of your Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee 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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