What is a Copyright?
A copyright is defined as a type of intellectual property protection for original works of authorship. Copyrights protect original literary or artistic works. A copyright is the exclusive legal right given to an originator (or an assignee) to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and prepare derivative works based on the work. In addition, this protection gives the owner the right to let others exercise these exclusive rights (license), subject to certain statutory limitations. You can register your copyright yourself, but Carson Patents offers copyright help.
By definition, a copyright protects an original work as soon as the author “fixes the work in a tangible form of expression.” In other words, when you, or someone working for you, creates and posts, publishes, or prints the work, it is protected by copyright.
Uncopyrightable Creative Works
Titles, names, short phrases, slogans, symbols, listings of contents or ingredients, and mere variations of font and coloring are not creative and thus are not copyrightable. However, you may be able to protect these things with a trademark. Furthermore, a copyright does not protect ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries. However, you may be able to protect these things with a patent.
A copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Registration of a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is not mandatory, but it can offer enhanced protection. In fact, you can register your own work at the U.S. Copyright Office. But, if you are looking for help, lawyers are available to help, some even specialize in copyrights.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Using the “©” Symbol
The “©” symbol (a capital letter ‘C’ inside a circle) commonly identifies copyrighted works. Most nations around the world recognize the “©” symbol. However, since the inclusion of Berne Convention, for works made after March 1, 1989 there is no requirement to include the “©” symbol on your copyrighted work.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
First, what is intellectual property (IP)? Basically, IP can be defined as a literary/artistic work, invention, symbol, or anything else that results from creativity. Depending on the type of intellectual property, there are three different ways to gain protection.
Firstly, a copyright, by definition, is the protection of literary or artistic works. For example, some copyrighted works are films, novels, poems, songs, lectures, plays, choreography, drawings, paintings, sculptures, architecture, maps, and many other artistic/literary works. Also, a copyright is commonly identified by the “©” symbol.
Secondly, a trademark protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. Trademarkable intellectual property are things such as titles, names, short phrases, slogans, symbols, listings of contents or ingredients, variations of font and coloring. For example, our name, Carson Patents®, uses the “®” symbol to recognize the trademark registered name. In addition, if an owner claims an unregistered mark, they may be able to use the “TM” symbol.
Lastly, a patent, put simply, is protection of a new invention. There are three types of patents: utility (function of invention), design (appearance of invention), and plant (botanical). For example, patentable intellectual property, broadly, are ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries.