Copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and patents. It may be difficult to fully understand what each license offers to you as a business owner, artist, innovator, or inventor, but if you are in the process of creating new concepts, products, and services it is a good idea to protect such work. Interestingly, if you have created a work or expression of art, or a logo or a slogan, it is already yours (assuming no one else has the exact same branding mechanism, which is why you should do the research). Complications could arise though if another party were to start using your copyrighted material, for instance—without permission. Without filling out the proper applications with the U.S. Copyright Office or the United States Patent and Trade Office and getting the appropriate licensing, you have no legal avenue to sue for infringement if someone were to steal your work.
Speak with an experienced attorney from the Bolender Law Firm if you have intellectual property that needs to be registered. If you are just opening a business or just beginning to expand to the point where you need protection, it may include:
- Trademarks & Service Marks – think of those companies that draw you in time and time again, along with offering a familiarity that becomes almost unconscious after we see a logo for so long. This is one of the most basic—and vital—elements of marketing, and that can apply to a business of any size. Registering your trademark through the United States Patent and Trade Office means you have legal recourse against anyone who tries to use it without your permission. This is the same with the service mark, which is a type of trademark; however, it denotes the services that your company offers and is often exemplified by a slogan—which may also (or not) be accompanied by a logo.
- Copyrights – although these deal with protecting many different types of artistic expressions such as art, screenplays, and music, copyrights can obviously be very important for businesses too. Books can be copyrighted, along with software, architecture, and more, and are registered through the U.S. Copyright Office. Systems and methods of operation are not protected by a copyright but fall under patents.
- Patents – these licenses are applied for through the United States Patent and Trade Office and allow inventors to protect their work for around 20 years. The following may be registered with a patent: processes, machines, articles of manufacture, compositions of matter.
The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!