Copyright Law in North Dakota

Intellectual property can represent the culmination of years of hard work for creatives, inventors, and entrepreneurs in North Dakota. As such, it is imperative for you to take every precaution to make certain your property is protected from bad faith actors. To this end, it may be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in North Dakota.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in North Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota Secretary of State affirms that an application for a trademark in the state can be filed with the SOS office, as well as the Business Division of the office. However, this is simply to file a trademark in North Dakota. To file an application for a federal trademark you must apply with the USPTO. Your application must be signed, include the filing fee, and have samples of the mark used in conjunction with the goods or services you provide.

The University of North Dakota Research Library is an excellent resource for inventors and entrepreneurs in the state that are conducting trademark research. It is in your best interest to be diligent in this phase of the application, as any mistake interpreted as bad faith actions can result in the dismissal of your application. You must be aware of existing trademarks, and make them distinctly different.

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

Open Corporates provides an online database that compiles all the active trademarks in North Dakota. While it may be a period of months before you receive your trademark, once it is established you will have it for a period of 5 years. It is also in your best interest to continue to use the trademark as you conduct your business. However, you must be vigilant when the time comes for renewal of the mark. Allowing it to lapse will provide a window for someone to come in and possibly usurp your trademark.

Copyright and trademark laws are in place to protect consumers and prevent confusion. But you can also garner a measure of protection as you will be able to keep any bad faith actors from infringing upon your intellectual property. But you cannot do this without a trademark in place. And the surest way to receive your trademark may be to employ the talents and knowledge of an experienced copyright attorney in North Dakota.

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

The value of your North Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota. 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 Dakota copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Dakota 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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