Registering a trademark for your goods or services is not at all obligatory, but it can be helpful and grant you certain benefits and security for your company and the goods or services it offers. Some of the advantages of registering a trademark are:
1. You are granted an exclusive right to use the registered trademark in the country of registration and there is a legal presumption of your legal ownership of the mark.
2. Public notice that claims your ownership of the trademark.
3. The possibility to register your mark with Customs and Border Protection in order to prevent the import of goods with the same or confusingly similar trademark. This is especially useful because trademark registration is valid only in your country or the countries where you specifically file a trademark registration request. In other words – trademark protection is not international.
4. The right to use ® symbol, which is an official symbol of a registered trademark.
5. The ability to file a lawsuit and conduct a successful litigation if it comes to unauthorized copying of your product or its name or symbol.
6. The ability to file a registration request in other countries once your trademark was registered in your own country.
Before registering a trademark, it is important to conduct a research and find out whether the same or similar marks or products already exist as registered trademarks. It is advisable that you hire an attorney specialized in trademark matters, since they know how to successfully deal with this research and provide you with reliable results. Also, an attorney can help you immensely through the process of registration itself, and after the registration was completed, he can inform you on the following steps in relation to your trademark.
Copyright is a legal protection of intellectual work, grounded in every country’s Constitution. It serves to protect intellectual property such as artistic work, music, books, lyrics, photos etc. from unauthorized reproduction or selling. Copyright protection can be applied to both published and unpublished work, finished completely or to a certain extent, tangible and even intangible works (such as digital or electronic media).
A piece of work is protected by copyright from the very moment of its creation and when it becomes either fixed in a tangible form, or possible to perceive directly or through a machine or device such as computer. Official registration of work is therefore not necessary or obligatory, but it can grant you certain benefits. After registering a piece of work as copyright protected, you will be granted a certificate. It will be of use if you wish to file a lawsuit when your piece of work is infringed and official registration is very likely to bring you a successful litigation.
Copyright protection is generally valid from the moment of the work’s creation, for as long as the author is alive and additional 70 years after he passes. However, there are additional factors that affect the copyright’s duration. If the work is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts 95 years from the year of the works’ first publication, or 120 years from the moment it was created – whichever of the two expires first. The piece of work being published or not can also affect the duration of copyright protection, as well as the year of the first publication. Then, for works created and published before January 1, 1978, the terms for copyright protection and its duration depend on several different and more complex factors, which can all be fund in the Copyright Act.
Finally, once the copyright protection was granted, it is important to know whether to renew it. Generally, it is not necessary to renew the official registration of copyright protected work when it comes to works published after January 1, 1978. For the works published or registered before that, renewal is optional after 28 years.