The Best IP Offense is a Good IP Defense
In the tech startup world, patents and trademarks get all the glory — but the fastest, easiest, most cost-effective way to set your IP protection strategy in motion is to register your software or product with the U.S. Copyright Office.
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A copyright is the right to own your own creative work. It means you can prevent others from reproducing, distributing, performing, displaying, and preparing derivatives (think sequels and revised, updated editions) of your work.
Anything that’s both original and tangible (aka written down and/or recorded). While many people tend to associate copyrights with traditional “expressive” or “creative” works such as books, plays, music, and art, technology companies can also benefit from copyrights.
Examples of things that can be copyrighted include computer software, technical drawings and diagrams, whitepapers, advertising copy, articles, architectural works (which can include engineering plans and blueprints), sound recordings, sketches, etc.
It’s important to understand that an idea cannot be protected by copyright. Neither can systems, methods of operation, processes, procedures, or discoveries.
It’s true that technically, anything you create is “automatically” copyrighted. However, if a few years or months down the road, a copycat infringes on your copyright, then guess what? That copyright is no longer “automatic.” Instead, you’ll have to go through the trouble of registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, file a lawsuit, then convince a judge to put a stop to it and order you compensation for any losses.
That’s why I recommend being proactive by registering your creation with the U.S. Copyright Office from the very beginning.
Bonus: If your work is already registered, you could be eligible for additional protections, such as recovering attorney fees and statutory damages, if you ever have to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
It’s not hard to go through the motions of registering your copyright, and you don’t legally need an attorney for this. However, it is tedious, complex, and full of legal jargon.
My job as an IP attorney is to read the fine print (so you don’t have to), translate it into simple words, and help you understand any uncommon laws that could affect your copyright.
More important, if getting a copyright is just a small piece of your IP protection strategy and you need expert legal counsel to help you create a holistic strategy, I can help you take a bird’s eye view of your business and recommend a strategic plan to keep your most valuable assets protected.
International IP Protection
If you need to take your IP business plan or strategy international, I’ll collaborate with foreign firms to make sure your patents, copyrights, trademarks, and domain names are legally protected anywhere and everywhere.