Businesses today must use copyrights or trademarks to protect their creative works and assets from being used elsewhere without permission. Although a copyright typically arises automatically upon creation of an original work of authorship, a company can and should register its copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office to increase the benefits of the copyright itself and elevate the value of the business or the business’s work. Below are three advantages of registering for a copyright.
Your business’s ownership is on public record.
As ownership is of top concern in copyright disputes, registering your business’s creative assets confirms that your company holds official ownership of its intellectual and creative property. In a copyright dispute, the infringer may claim ownership without claiming to be the creator of the asset. In many cases, it is up to the business to prove it is, in fact, the rightful owner. By registering for a copyright, your business is on public record for demonstrating ownership of the asset. Additionally, with a registered copyright, your business is presumed to have complete ownership of the asset, which means those who challenge the copyright will have to demonstrate otherwise.
Your business gains the ability to enforce its copyrights.
Your business must register a copyright to be able to sue for copyright infringement. Specifically, applying for a copyright registration makes your business eligible to claim complete ownership of an asset once a dispute arises, as a copyright registration must be approved and granted by the U.S. Copyright Office before your business can file a suit against an infringer. It is always recommended to file for a copyright registration once an asset is created for use, and if necessary, this process can be expedited for additional fees.
Your business is eligible for statutory damages, attorney fees, and costs of suit.
When a business registers for a copyright, the company becomes eligible to pursue statutory damages, attorney fees, and costs for infringement after the date of registration. Typically, this means that, with a timely copyright registration, an infringer becomes responsible for the damages and profits made from the infringement, or they become liable for a set amount from the court meant to cover the cost of each infringed asset.
As a copyright is considered “automatic” and exists as soon as a work or asset is created, it may seem unnecessary to apply for a copyright registration. However, your business gains significant advantages in protecting intellectual and creative property when it registers with the U.S Copyright Office.
An experienced copyright attorney can guide your business through the registration process to ensure your work is protected. The team at Ritter Spencer Cheng PLLC will work with your company to correctly register for a copyright, address necessary cease and desist letters, and/or organize any potential licensing agreements. Learn about the benefits and challenges associated with copyright registration and contact our team today.