Copyright Law in North Carolina

It is not uncommon for bad faith actors in North Carolina to take advantage of the uninitiated or inexperienced. Scammers and bad faith actors will go to great lengths to misuse the creative designs of others if they can. The best way to combat this is with a copyright or trademark put in place. And the best way to put this in place may be to have the help of an experienced North Carolina copyright attorney when you file your applications.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina Secretary of State gives an overview of the trademark application process in the state, and attempts to simplify the instructions for those filing. Once you have created your trademark, that is created the words or design that are intrinsic to your mark, you must make certain that the mark is used in conjunction with the goods or services you provide. This is essential, as you will have to provide proof of this with your application.

Once you’ve decided on your trademark, you’ll need to do research to be certain that such a mark does not already exist. You can use the North Carolina State Trademark Database, or the North Carolina Business Registration Database to start this research. You can also seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in North Carolina. He or she can help you make certain that all aspects of your application are in order.

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

According to the North Carolina State Legislature, receiving a trademark for your business operating in the state does not guarantee a federal trademark for a business that is operating nationally, or internationally. While the general wait time to receive a trademark in a state is 4 to 6 months, this time can be compounded by mistakes in the filing process. To avoid any pitfalls when you file your application, you may want to engage the services of an experienced North Carolina copyright attorney. He or she can help you in your application process to make certain that you receive your trademark as swiftly as possible.

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

The value of your North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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.

North Carolina 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 North Carolina. 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 North Carolina copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Carolina 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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