Do you need a copyright or a trademark?

In this weeks’ blog, I want to discuss the differences between copyright and trademark. But first, let’s explore intellectual property protection. Intellectual property includes processes, symbols, designs, and works created or owned by a company or individual. Copyrights protect your original work. This includes literary, musical, artistic, dramatic, and other intellectual works. To protect your intellectual property, you must register it with the United States Patent and Trademark office. When work is created it is automatically yours via common law, but it still needs to be registered to put the world on notice that it is yours. If you ever need to sue another company over infringement, having a copyright registration flips the burden of proof and puts it on them. Once you’ve obtained copyright, you hold exclusive rights to reproduce the creation of the material and can transfer rights to part or all the material. Copyright protects your creativity. Trademarks, on the other hand, protect words, names symbols, colors, sounds, and anything that distinguishes your brand from another entity. With trademark and copyright registration, you have intellectual property protection on different types of information. Copyrights protect your artistic works, while a trademark protects your brand. For instance, you can trademark your logo and name but will need to copyright some of the creations that go with your brand. Also, keep in mind one difference between trademark and copyright. A copyright is granted by the U.S Copyright Office, while a trademark is under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademark laws are often used in collaboration with copyright laws to protect with advertising copy. You may think that it’s simple to navigate through the terrain of trademark and copyright law on your own, but you should speak with a licensed attorney to guy you through the murky water of protecting your work and/or your brand.

I hope this information provides you with useful insight for brand protection. If you need help or have any questions please feel free to contact me, I’m Liza Esqueda a virtual attorney and your TrademarkBFF.

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