As part of our Software & Copyrights practice, we provide copyright registration services.
A copyright provides protection for original works created by the author. Subject to certain legal exceptions, copyrights protect the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work for a period of time. Copyright protection automatically exists in common law. However, to enforce your exclusive rights through copyright litigation, registration is required.
Our copyright attorneys provide copyright registration, maintenance, and enforcement services to protect and preserve your intellectual property rights.
Importance of Copyright Registration
Copyright registration is a legal formality to create a public record and provide constructive notice of rights in a work. Federal registration is through the Library of Congress. Although copyright registration isn’t required for protection, it is likely necessary to file a lawsuit in U.S. court for copyright infringement. Additionally, the ability to recover statutory damages and attorneys’ fees will depend on the timing of registration. Therefore, a you should file a registration quickly after publication, if you intend to challenge copyright infringers. Additionally, registration may allow the owner of a copyright to record the work with the U.S. Customs Service. This helps protect against the importation or exportation of potentially infringing copies of the work.
Copyright prosecution may seem easy, but there can be complexities. We work with clients to obtain the necessary information to properly file applications for registration. There are important considerations and information that must be included in all copyright applications, such as:
All contributors to the work and each individual contribution
Work made for hire considerations
Author is employee or owner
Is an author deceased
Published or not
Use of public domain material
Inclusion of a piece of a prior work
Assignment or other conveyance
Once an application is filed electronically with the Copyright Office, the time period for examination can take several months to a year. However, examination could take much longer if an application is filed in paper form.
Our copyright attorneys advise on copyright registration as well as the protection and enforcement of copyright rights.
What is Copyrightable?
Copyright registration is available for unique works of authorship, such as:
Computer Software and Code
Visual Arts Works, including Hand Drawings, Cartoons, and Paintings
Images and Photograph Works
3-D Designs, Monuments, and Sculptures
Written Matter, such as Recipes, Menus, Screenplays, Poems, and other Literary Works
Sound Recordings, such as Musical Arrangements and Movies
Other Forms of Copyright Protection
In addition to copyright registration, our intellectual property attorneys also assist with protection of unique, creative copyrights works through:
Copyright Agreements and Contracts
IP Due Diligence Reviews
Monitoring for Infringement
Enforcement through Cease and Desist Letters
Monitoring of Social Media
Counseling on IP Rights and Best Practices of IP Use
Copyright Litigation as well as Litigation Defense