Benefits of Registering Copyrights & Trademarks

Copyrights

Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression, including works that are communicated with the aid of a machine or device, such as a computer. Copyrightable works include computer programs, text, images, music, and architecture. For computer programs, copyright can protect the source code and original screen displays. Protection is against copying by a third party. The third party must, therefore, have access to the work of the owner in order to be held accountable for infringement.

Benefits of registering copyright include:

  • Registration is necessary before an infringement suit may be filed in court.
  • If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the registration certificate.
  • If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorneys’ fees may be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available (which can be more difficult and expensive to prove).
  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

Trademarks

A trademark is a word, phrase, or design that is used to indicate the source of goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A service mark does the same for services.

The benefits of registering a trademark include:

  • Nationwide protection for the mark
  • The ability to bring an action in federal court and to obtain treble damages and attorney's fees in certain cases.
  • The use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.
  • The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing or counterfeit goods.

Notice: This above is not intended as legal advice. Consult an attorney for guidance on your particular circumstances.

Law Offices of Gail J. Berritt, Westport, Connecticut.

Call: (203) 222-7449