Top 10 Reasons You Should Register Your Copyright
You are a small business owner, entrepreneur, or startup company. You now realize you have intellectual property. You may ask yourself, why is intellectual property protection important? How can the United States Copyright Office help me? Is copyright protection essential? Well, look no further! FindLaw has created the top 10 reasons why you should federally register your copyright.
Top 10 Reasons to Register Copyright
10. Being a copyright owner gives you exclusive rights. You can reproduce the work. This includes copying the work or changing its form. You can create a sequel and revise or update the work.
9. Copyright registration covers a variety of creative works and original works of authorship. Copyright protection extends to musical, literary, and artistic works.
8. Registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office establishes a public record of your ownership of the work.
7. You can sell your right of control over the copyrighted work. So, when you write your next big thriller, you can sell the movie rights and keep the right to create a sequel.
6. Registering your copyright early on can help expedite the processing time.
5. Registration allows you legal protection in 181 foreign countries that are a part of the Berne Convention, so long as you meet that country's copyright requirements.
4. Registering your copyright provides added protection against the unauthorized use of your creative works on social media.
3. You can take legal action by suing for copyright infringement in federal court. This allows you to get an injunction, or order, from a judge to stop someone from using your registered work.
2. Registering your copyright prior to an infringement claim allows you to claim statutory damages in court. Statutory damages are pre-established amounts set by law.
1. If you succeed, the infringer may have to pay your attorney fees.
Other Intellectual Property Rights Small Businesses Should Consider
As a small business, you might want to protect your business name, brand name, or company name. Name protections for goods happen through trademark registration. Name protection for services happens through service mark registration. The service mark and trademark application process goes through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Visit FindLaw's Trademark Law section to learn more about getting a registered trademark and your trademark rights.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also handles patent applications. A patent covers inventions that are novel, useful, and non-obvious. There are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.
Getting Legal Advice
Copyright law can be complex. Additionally, filing fees for the copyright registration process are nonrefundable. So, if you want to go through the copyright application process, talk with an intellectual property law attorney.
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Contact a qualified business attorney to help you identify how to best protect your business' intellectual property.