Copyright Law in Pennsylvania

You deserve the full credit for the intellectual property and inventions you bring to the market. This goes for designs as well. It is improper for another individual or business entity to use your designs; either by mistake or in an attempt to lure business away from you. For this reason, you may want to consult with an experienced copyright attorney in Pennsylvania. He or she can help you protect your intellectual property and get the credit you deserve.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Department of State gives a complete breakdown of what is required when you file your trademark application. Remember, if your application is deficient in any way it can be delayed. Or possibly even rejected. The items necessary for your application to go through include, but are not limited to:

  • Availability. The trademark name must be available in Pennsylvania
  • Name of the applicant
  • Jurisdiction if the applicant is a corporation
  • Facsimile of the mark
  • Classification of goods or services provided
  • Date when the trademark was first used in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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

The City of Philadelphia Business Services states that the trademark process can be lengthy, complicated, and often frustrating. According to the city government, the trademark process can be as quick as 6 months, or as lengthy as multiple years. You should be prepared for the process to move slowly, and be prepared to be responsive if the review process requires you to provide more than the initial application states.

Reuters recently reported that the Covid-19 endemic has also had an effect on the trademark process, as it has created a severe backlog which is decaying every patent in Pennsylvania. You can compound this time by committing errors on your application. To prevent such an outcome, you may want to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in Pennsylvania.

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

The value of your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.

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