Copyright Law in Yakima, WA
Unfortunately there are bad faith actors operating in Yakima. Scammers and thieves can seek to abuse your intellectual property, confuse your customer base, and ultimately take money that should have been yours. While it may be unpleasant to dwell on such facts, you should be prepared if someone infringes upon your rights. The best way to prepare yourself is to establish a trademark for your work or brand.
What Is Copyright Registration?
Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Yakima, 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 Yakima, 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 Yakima, WA business people and brand owners often trademark:
- Product packages
- Name of the business
- Name of the product or service
According to the Washington Secretary of State, Yakima residents can file for a trademark for their intellectual property in 1 of 3 ways. You can choose to file only with the Office of the Secretary of State in Washington, however this will only provide you protection within the state. You can file with the USPTO for full protection at the national level. Or, you can 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?
Statistics provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office affirm that a federally recognized trademark can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to come through. This process can seem exhausting, but you should remember that going without trademark protection robs you of any ability to enforce your rights should someone misuse your intellectual property or misrepresent your brand. A trademark is an incredibly safe route to fully protecting your work, and to navigate that route you may want to retain an experienced copyright attorney in Yakima.
What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
The value of your Yakima, 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 Yakima, 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 Yakima, 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 Yakima, 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 Yakima 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!