When determining if your intellectual property asset is a copyright or a trademark, there are important distinctions that must be made. Making the correct distinction enables the owner of the intellectual property to properly maintain and protect each of their assets.
Copyrights are rights to reproduce original works of authorship once those works are expressed in tangible form. Copyright protection extends to: literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works and includes such original works of authorship as poetry, novels, screenplays, movies, music, lyrics, computer software, sculpture, paintings, photographs, architecture, video games, and choreography. Ideas, however, are not copyrightable until expressed in tangible form.
As we discussed in our previous blog on trademarks, https://kendricklawgroup.com/trademarks-are-valuable-business-assets, trademarks are a form of intellectual property that includes marks, words, phrases, and other devices used to distinguish goods and services in the marketplace.
Unlike trademark rights, copyright rights are established the moment that an idea is expressed in tangible form. And also unlike a trademark, a copyright does not need to be registered to secure the rights associated with the work. However, while copyright registration is not required, registration is advisable because it does afford the author/owner expanded protection from potential cause for lawsuits, economic rights, and attorney fees in the event of the possibility of a lawsuit.
As you can imagine, there are many nuances to copyrighting that can affect your rights and your ability to protect your intellectual property assets. The Kendrick Law Group is here to assist you in understanding the nuances in all your intellectual property assets. We also can help you register, license and maximize the value of your intellectual property assets. Give Dave Mouery of the Kendrick Law Group a call today 407-641-5847!
Co-written by: Kirsten Williams, Law Clerk