Copyright Law in St. Louis, MO

According to the Missouri Independent, a group of nurses has filed a trademark infringement suit against a health clinic in St. Louis. The basis of the suit revolves around the clinic’s use of the name “Homer G. Phillips”, then name of a historic black hospital opened in the area in 1937. If you desire to be able to enforce your rights around your own creative property in St. Louis, then you may want to seek out an experienced St. Louis copyright attorney to help you file a trademark application.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in St. Louis, Missouri 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 St. Louis, MO 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 St. Louis, MO business people and brand owners often trademark:

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

When filing your application in St. Louis, you should be aware that the Missouri Revisor of Statutes affirms that certain types of trademarks are prohibited in the state. These marks include, but are not limited to, any type of trademark that

  • Consists of immoral, vulgar, or scandalous material
  • Uses the flag of the United States
  • Uses the flag of a foreign nation
  • Falsely suggests a connection with a living or deceased person
  • Closely resembles a mark that is currently in use

When filing your trademark application you’ll need to provide multiple examples of the mark in use with your goods or services. You’ll also need to provide detailed descriptions of the mark, both drawing and any wording that may be used along with it.

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

According to UpCounsel, each approved trademark in St. Louis, whether it is used nationally or merely in the state, must file an application for renewal every 10 years. However, you’ll also have to prove that your mark is still active between the 5th and 6th years of use.

It’s never a pleasant experience to find that your intellectual property has been used or infringed upon, but with a recognized trademark in place you will have the means to enforce your rights. This is a very nuanced area of the law, and setbacks can prove costly, both in time and in money. To avoid such a scenario you may want to consider having an experienced copyright attorney in St. Louis in your corner.

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

The value of your St. Louis, MO 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 St. Louis, Missouri 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 St. Louis, MO 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 St. Louis, MO. 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 St. Louis copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Missouri 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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