Protecting the intellectual property aspects of your business is a worthwhile investment. However, it is difficult to know what form of intellectual property works for what facets of your business. Let’s take the time to break all that down.
Copyrights can be obtained for things of an artistic nature. This includes, of course, poetry, films, sculptures, music, fiction, etc. But can also include things that may not necessarily seem “artistic” in the general sense of the word. Copyrights can also be obtained for advertising copy, games, software programs and blueprints, to name just a few.
To protect text as it appears on advertising copy, speeches, pamphlets, brochures, online works, reports, etc. a Literary Works application would be filed.
To protect pictorial or graphic items such as technical drawings, posters, labels, games, etc. a Visual Art Works application would be filed.
Only a few items that could be protected by copyright are noted here so if you have other items in mind, please check with the US Copyright Office.
A “registered trademark”, or ®, refers to a name, slogan or logo that has been officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Registering a trademark is beneficial to a business because it publicly states that your trademark is registered with the USPTO and therefore, you have exclusive rights to that name within your industry.
Prior to investing your time, money & effort into a name, it is strongly advised that comprehensive research be conducted to ensure that the name you’re interested in is truly available.
This entails searching the pending & registered Federal and State trademark files as well as the US National Common-Law files. Then, if clear, you can decide if you would like to file for a Federal or a State trademark.