Copyright Law in Spokane, WA

Trademark infringement can strike in some unlikely places. The Spokane-Review reports that in 2019, a bar in downtown Spokane called Scofflaw’s Book Club was only open for 2 weeks before receiving a cease and desist letter and being forced to change their name. It turns out that they had inadvertently infringed upon the trademarked name of a Chicago establishment called Scofflaw’s Book Club who had registered the name nationally. Having a trademark allows you to enforce your rights when others infringe upon them, even unintentionally. To navigate the trademark process, you may want to reach out to an experienced Spokane copyright attorney.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Spokane, Washington 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 Spokane, WA 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 Spokane, WA business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

The Washington Secretary of State affirms that there are 3 avenues for Spokane residents to pursue when seeking to receive trademark protections for your intellectual property. You can:

  • File with the USPTO for full federal protection
  • File with the Washington Secretary of State for statewide protection
  • Choose to file with both

When filing an application you’ll be required to pay a non-refundable filing fee, provide multiple examples of the mark in use with your goods or services, as well as provide detailed drawings and specs for the trademark, including any language that might accompany it. However, before you begin filing you should do extensive research to be certain that you aren’t trying to receive protection for a trademark that already exists.

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

The United States Patent and Trademark Office states that receiving full trademark protection in Spokane can generally take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. While this process may seem arduous, it is important to remember that going without trademark protection is a gamble that may not be worth it. Without the full protection of a recognized trademark, you will have no ability to enforce your rights if someone infringes upon your intellectual property. Even worse, without a trademark, you may allow someone else the opportunity to trademark your work.

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

The value of your Spokane, WA 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 Spokane, Washington 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 Spokane, WA 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 Spokane, WA. 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 Spokane copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Washington 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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