COPYRIGHT

&

TRADEMARK

Copyrights protect works of authorship:  screenplays, music, paintings, software, etc.

Trademarks protect symbols and/or words that stand for something else, such as the golden arches that stand for McDonald’s.

I advise clients to file their own copyrights and hire competent counsel to help them with trademarks.  Copyright law is exclusively federal, but trademark disputes can be filed in state or federal court.  When you file for federal trademark registration, the government conducts a search for conflicts and may deny the application if a direct conflict exists. Researching for conflicts is usually wise before filing a trademark. Copyright filings do not require such clearance.  

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