Copyright Law in San Francisco, CA
The intellectual property of San Francisco residents can represent the completion of years of hard work and sacrifice. However, if you encounter someone infringing upon your rights, you’ll need to be able to defend yourself and your intellectual property. In a situation like these, a recognized trademark can help you enforce your rights.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in San Francisco, California 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 San Francisco, CA 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 San Francisco, CA business people and brand owners often trademark:
- Product packages
- Name of the business
- Name of the product or service
The Silicon Valley Branch of the USPTO offers classes and events for entrepreneurs and creatives in the area that are seeking to trademark their intellectual property. One such event, the Trademark Basics Bootcamp, helps those in San Francisco by walking them through the application process.
It should also be noted that applications are processed on a first come first serve basis. Applications that are delivered in-person to the California Secretary of State’s Office in Sacramento are taken and labeled as being handed in at the time they were received. Applications that are mailed are dated at 5:00 p.m. on the date they were received.
How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?
American Corporate Services states that, regardless of the time it takes for you to receive trademark protection, the mark will only last for so long before having to be renewed. This is generally a period of 10 years. However, San Francisco residents should also keep an eye out due to the fact that after 5 years you will have to show that your mark is being used in the marketplace to maintain its viability.
Your intellectual property should be protected, and the best way to do this may be to register for a trademark. This is a nuanced area of the law, so it may be in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced copyright attorney in San Francisco.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your San Francisco, CA 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 San Francisco, California 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 San Francisco, CA 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 San Francisco, CA. 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 San Francisco copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across California 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!