Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

Some copyrights exist from the time of creation of the work; greater rights are acquired by applying copyright notice on the work and by registering the work with the Copyright Office.

Applying for registration is required to bring a lawsuit for infringement. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Also, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. For most works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.

A “work of hire” agreement or “assignment of copyright” agreement is advisable if you pay anyone to create a work for you.

Palomar Patent does not practice in all areas of Copyright law. Please inquire regarding your needs.


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