Copyright Law in Wilmington, NC
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has held nationally recognized trademarks since 1947. These include symbols, phrases, and lettering that represent the UNCW brand, and further its stated missions and goals. Their standard trademarked logo are the letters UNCW, in block lettering, with the word Seahawks at the bottom. This is usually against a green or navy printed mat. If you are looking to protect your trademarked property, you may want to seek out an experienced copyright attorney in Wilmington.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Wilmington, North Carolina 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 Wilmington, NC 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 Wilmington, NC business people and brand owners often trademark:
- Product packages
- Name of the business
- Name of the product or service
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association provides Wilmington residents with an overview for trademark registration, as well as presenting specimens for registration. These specimens are examples of the mark in use with your goods or services, and can be found on letterhead, business cards, or advertisements. In addition to providing 3 specimens you’ll need to:
- Research and establish if the mark is available
- Complete a trademark application
- Pay a non-refundable $75 application fee
- Provide a detailed description of the mark
- Be on the lookout for renewal applications once you receive your approval
How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?
Wilmington residents can avail themselves of the online trademark database provided by the North Carolina Secretary of State. If your mark too closely resembles a mark that is already established, your application will be denied immediately. So you should take it upon yourself to do as much research as you can. You might also enlist the help of an experienced copyright attorney in Wilmington to assist you in this research to make sure you navigate this process smoothly. The median average to receive a trademark is anywhere between 12 and 18 months, according to the USPTO.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your Wilmington, NC 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 Wilmington, North Carolina 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 Wilmington, NC 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 Wilmington, NC. 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 Wilmington copyright attorneys that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Carolina 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!