- Patent Basics
1. What can be patented?Under U.S. patent law, any person who "invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent." In general, this means you must satisfy the following four requirements to qualify for a patent:
• The subject matter must be patentable.
• The invention must be novel.
• The invention must have some utility or usefulness.
• The invention must not be obvious. Start my Design Patent!
2. What’s the difference between a design patent and a utility patent?A design patent protects the unique appearance of a manufactured item–how it looks–and a utility patent protects an item's function–how it works. A utility patent may also be granted to protect a unique process or chemical compound. Some inventions may qualify for both design and utility patent protection, if both the design and the function are unique, and the design does not affect the article's function. Start my Design Patent!
3. What’s the difference between provisional patent and utility patent?A utility patent is what most people think of when they think about a patent. It is a long, technical document that teaches the public how to use a new machine, process, or system. The kinds of inventions protected by utility patents are defined by Congress. New technologies like genetic engineering and internet-delivered software are challenging the boundaries of what kinds of inventions can receive utility patent protection.
A provisional patent goes hand in glove with a utility patent. United States law allows inventors to file a less formal document that proves the inventor was in possession of the invention and had adequately figured out how to make the invention work. Once that is on file, the invention is patent pending. If, however, the inventor fails to file a formal utility patent within a year from filing the provisional patent, he or she will lose this filing date. Any public disclosures made relying on that provisional patent application will now count as public disclosures to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
As you apply for a patent, consider all the ways to protect your new device. You can file a design patent to protect the distinctive look of your improved egg beater. You can file a utility patent to protect the machine itself and the way it works. You can even file a provisional patent application to give yourself more time to file your utility application. The different types of applications exist to give inventors options. Start my Design Patent!
4. As patent filer, do I qualify for Small Entity or Micro Entity Status?If the filer qualifies for Small Entity Status, the USPTO will offer a 50% discount for government fees; If the filer qualifies for Micro Entity Status, the USPTO will offer a 75% discount for government fees.
To qualify as a small entity for purposes of paying patent fees, you must either be:
• an individual
• a small business concern having no more than 500 employees (or affiliates)
• a university; or
• a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
To qualify as a Micro Entity, the filer must be a Small Entity and must also meet the following criteria:
1.The applicant has not been named as the inventor on a total of more than four utility patents (regular utility patents, as opposed to provisional patent applications), design patents, or plant patents. This also does not include certain international applications and applications owned by a previous employer. In addition, the applicant must have had a gross income in the previous year of less than three times the median household income reported by the Bureau of the Census. (See the USPTO website, here, for current income limits; the most recent publicly available gross income limit is $184,116). In the event that the patent application has been assigned, the assignee must have had a gross (not net) income of less than three times the U.S. median household income; or
2.The majority of the patent filer’s employment income is from an Institution of Higher Learning, or the applicant has assigned, or is obliged to assign the patent to an Institution of Higher Learning. An Institution of Higher Learning is a public or nonprofit accredited institution that admits post-secondary students for programs of not less than two years. Start my Design Patent!
5. How long does the U.S. design patent or utility patent last?The term of a design patent is 15 years, beginning on the date the patent is granted. Design patents are not renewable and require no maintenance fees.
A utility patent is generally granted for 20 years from the date the patent application is filed; however, periodic fees are required to maintain the enforceability of the patent. Start my Design Patent!
- Trademark Basics
1. Are Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents the same things?No. Each protects a different form of intellectual property from infringement by others. A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work. A patent protects an invention. For example, if you invent a new kind of irrigation device, you would apply for a patent to protect the invention itself. You would apply to register a trademark to protect the brand name of the irrigation device. And you might register a copyright for the TV commercial that you use to market the product. Register your trademark today!
2. Why register a trademark?The purpose of using a trademark is to uniquely identify your products or services to potential customers. Registration of a trademark helps prevent competitors of your business from stealing your business name, logo, or slogan. Registration also protects you against misappropriation by confusingly similar marks used by competitors. Protecting your unique name, logo, or slogan in the form of a trademark is one of the most important investments in your business. If you wish to register a trademark or a service mark, Legalhoop can assist you by providing a professional filing service . Simply fill a few questions online and let us take care of the rest. Register your trademark today!
3. What is the process to obtain a trademark registration in US?Once an application is filed, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) assigns an attorney to examine the proposed trademark. Under a smooth case, the process of registration takes around 8 months. The process can take several years if legal issues arise during the examination. If the trademark is approved, USPTO will issue either a Certificate of Registration (if you are already using the trademark) or a Notice of Allowance (if you intend to use the mark at a later date).
The principal factors determining whether an application should be approved include:
A. The similarity of existing registered trademarks, including the mark itself and the covered products. Similar marks can create a likelihood of confusion which is grounds for rejecting the application.
B. The uniqueness of your intended trademark in relation to your product. So called "merely descriptive" trademarks are often rejected.
When you request to register your trademark through Legalhoop, an attorney representing you can help you navigate the process. Register your trademark today!
4. What should I prepare for the application before placing the order?A. A drawing of the mark or simply a word or phrase which could function as a trademark to help clients to identify your goods and services from others.
B. Description of your goods or services that will be sold to your customers. If possible, choose the identifications from the International Classifications here.
Nothing else. Just wait for our communication via email if any special requirements for a TM application in certain countries. Register your trademark today!
5. What are the main steps for TM applications with Legalhoop?Just place the order on our website https://www.legalhoop.com/TrademarkRegistration?country=international and select the countries you would like to apply for, pay our service fee first. Later, you will be contacted via email by your dedicated consultant regarding whether any supporting materials required and the amount of government filing fee due. If you haven’t heard from us within 3 business days, please check if our emails are spammed or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the rest of the applications, just count on us. We will help you file it properly. Register your trademark today!
6. When will I receive the filing receipt from the IP Office?Once we have got everything confirmed with you via email. We will file the applications as soon as possible, but since different countries may have different schedule in issuing filing receipt, we can not tell exactly. What we can promise is that we will send it to you the first time we got the receipt. Register your trademark today!
- New TM Applications in US
1. What should I prepare for the application before placing order on Legalhoop?A. A drawing of the mark or simply a word or phrase which could function as a trademark to help clients to identify your goods and services from others.
B. Specific description of your goods or services that will be sold to your customers. The more specific the better.
C. Specimens if you have already used it in commerce.Nothing else. Just count on us for the rest. Register your trademark today!
2. What are the main steps for TM applications with Legalhoop?Just place the order on our website https://legalhoop.com/TrademarkRegistration?entry=19 by paying our service fee first. Later, you will be contacted via email by your dedicated consultant regarding whether any supporting materials required and the amount of government filing fee due ($275/class). If you haven’t heard from us within 3 business days, please check if our emails are spammed or email us via email@example.com.
For the rest of the applications, just count on us. We will help you file it properly. Register your trademark today!
3. When will I receive the filing receipt from USPTO?Once we have got everything confirmed with you via email. We will file the application within 3 business days and you will get the receipt right away when it’s filed. Register your trademark today!
4. What does Legalhoop provides me that I can’t do myself through the United States Trademark Office?When you request to file a trademark application through Legalhoop, an experienced U.S. trademark consultant will prepare all the information required for the filing process.
Legalhoop. com is supported by Shnfan IP law firm based in Washington D.C. and Beijing. Since 2002, we have helped nearly 100,000 small businesses get their trademarks protected in more than 180 countries. Our firm has extensive expertise in intellectual property law, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, and patent matters. Our legal attorneys are available to answer your questions and assist you in successfully advancing your trademark application. ($99 + Government Fee for the trademark filing package).
Therefore, you gain the expertise of an experienced trademark law firm in helping you get the best protection possible and defend your rights.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not give you legal advice on how best to protect your rights. When you request a filing through Legalhoop, you can receive this service from an attorney. In addition, if and when there are updates to your filing, Legalhoop automatically notifies you and experts that represent you through Legalhoop will assist you. Furthermore, USPTO cannot:
• Conduct trademark searches for the public;
• Comment on the validity of registered marks;
• Answer questions prior to filing on whether a particular mark or type of mark is eligible for trademark registration; or
• Offer legal advice or opinions about trademark infringement claims.
The USPTO does not enforce your rights in the mark or bring legal action against potential infringers. Experts representing you through Legalhoop have experience helping with such matters. All of the things above can be done through an expert that represents you through Legalhoop. If it’s important for you to protect your brand, it makes sense to have a professional help you through Legalhoop. Register your trademark today!
5. What are "Current use" and "Intent to use" filing basis in USPTO?There are two basis for filing a trademark application in the United States: Current use and Intent to use.
In use: If you are basing your trademark application on "current use", you must include a sworn statement (usually in the form of a declaration) that the mark is in use in commerce, listing the date of first use of the mark anywhere and the date of first use of the mark in commerce. You must also include a specimen showing the use of the mark in commerce. For specimen of goods, the mark must appear on the goods, the container for the goods, or displays associated with the goods, and the goods must be sold or transported in commerce. For specimen of services, the mark must be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services and the services must be rendered in commerce.
Intent to use: If you have not yet used the mark, but plan to do so in the future, you may file an application based on a good faith intention to use the mark in commerce. You do not have to use the mark before you file your application. An "intent to use" application must include a sworn statement (usually in the form of a declaration) that you have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce. Register your trademark today!
6. What kind of specimens should I provide?The acceptable specimens for goods should be tags, labels, instruction manuals, containers, photographs that show the mark on the actual goods or packaging, and displays associated with the actual goods at their point of sale. Showing a photo only of a decorative element does not count. Standards allow for the small logo to be placed at the left breast of a shirt as it's deemed to create the commercial impression. Register your trademark today!
7. What is the most common reason an examining attorney refuses registration in USPTO?The most common reason for refusing registration is a likelihood of confusion with the mark in a registration or prior application. The examining attorney will search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to determine whether there are any marks that are likely to cause confusion with your mark. The principal factors considered by the examining attorney in determining whether there would be a likelihood of confusion are:
• The similarity of the marks;
• The commercial relationship (e.g.,channels of trade or class of purchasers) between the goods/ services listed in the application and those listed in the registration or pending application.
To find a conflict, the marks do not have to be identical and the goods/services do not have to be the same.It may be enough that the marks are similar and the goods/services are related.When you request to register your trademark through Legalhoop, you may consult an attorney for some help to place your application in the best light for evaluation by the USPTO. Register your trademark today!
8. May I change the goods/services after filing my application?You may clarify or limit the goods/services claimed on your application but you may not expand or broaden the goods/services. For example, if you filed for "shirts", you may limit the goods to specific types of shirts such as "t-shirts and sweatshirts". However, you may not change the goods to "shirts and pants". Likewise, if you file for "Jewelry", you may change the goods to specific types of jewelry such as "jewelry, namely, earrings". However, you may not change the goods to a service such as "jewelry stores". Legalhoop makes the process very easy for you, just click here to get started in applying for your trademark. Register your trademark today!
9. How do I choose the proper classification of goods and services for my trademark?When you file to register a trademark with the United States Trademark Office, you must select the kinds of goods or services on which your trademark will be affixed. There are 45 separate classifications. Descriptions of what types of uses fall in each class are described below. While this process can be confusing, when you request to register your trademark through Legalhoop, an attorney representing you can help you navigate the process.
Class 1 (Chemicals): Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins; unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry.
Class 2 (Paints): Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers and artists.
Class 3 (Cosmetics and cleaning preparations): Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.
Class 4 (Lubricants and fuels): Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.
Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals): Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
Class 6 (Metal Goods): Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; nonelectric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; goods of common metal not included in other classes; ores.
Class 7 (Machinery): Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs.
Class 8 (Hand tools): Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors.
Class 9 (Electrical and scientific apparatus): Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; automatic vending machines and mechanisms for coin operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers; fire extinguishing apparatus.
Class 10 (Medical apparatus): Surgical, medical, dental, and veterinary apparatus and instruments, artificial limbs, eyes, and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.
Class 11 (Environmental control apparatus): Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply, and sanitary purposes.
Class 12 (Vehicles): Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water.
Class 13 (Firearms): Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.
Class 14 (Jewelry): Precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewelry, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.
Class 15 (Musical Instruments): Musical instruments.
Class 16 (Paper goods and printed matter): Paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists’ materials; paint brushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes); printers’ type; printing blocks.
Class 17 (Rubber goods): Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, not of metal.
Class 18 (Leather goods): Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery.
Class 19 (Nonmetallic building materials): Building materials (non-metallic); nonmetallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch and bitumen; nonmetallic transportable buildings; monuments, not of metal.
Class 20 (Furniture and articles not otherwise classified): Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics.
Class 21 (Housewares and glass): Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steel-wool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes.
Class 22 (Cordage and fibers): Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, sacks and bags (not included in other classes); padding and stuffing materials (except of rubber or plastics); raw fibrous textile materials.
Class 23 (Yarns and threads): Yarns and threads, for textile use.
Class 24 (Fabrics): Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes; beds and table covers.
Class 25 (Clothing): Clothing, footwear, headgear.
Class 26 (Fancy goods): Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers.
Class 27 (Floor coverings): Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile).
Class 28 (Toys and sporting goods): Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees.
Class 29 (Meats and processed foods): Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs, milk and milk products; edible oils and fats.
Class 30 (Staple foods): Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices; honey, treacle; yeast, baking powder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice.
Class 31 (Natural agricultural products): Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products and grains not included in other classes; live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds, natural plants and flowers; foodstuffs for animals; malt.
Class 32 (Light beverages): Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other nonalcoholic drinks; fruit drinks and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making beverages.
Class 33 (Wine and spirits): Alcoholic beverages (except beers).
Class 34 (Smokers’ articles): Tobacco; smokers’ articles; matches.
Class 35 (Advertising and business): Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.
Class 36 (Insurance and financial): Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs.
Class 37 (Building construction and repair): Building construction; repair; installation services.
Class 38 (Telecommunications): Telecommunications.
Class 39 (Transportation and storage): Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement
Class 40 (Treatment of materials): Treatment of materials.
Class 41 (Education and entertainment): Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
Class 42 (Computer and scientific): Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
Class 43 (Hotels and restaurants): Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodations.
Class 44 (Medical, beauty & agricultural): Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.
Class 45 (Personal): Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals. Register your trademark today!
- Statement of use
1. What is statement of use?A proper Statement of Use Form is filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office to maintain a live status of your trademark. This helps avoid abandonment and someone else snatching it.
A Statement of Use (SOU) is one of the official forms used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It can only be filed once a business has started to use a trademark. This means you can't register a trademark just to tie it up, you need to use it in commerce.
If you filed your trademark on the basis of intent to use, you must file a Statement of Use to show you are using it to sell goods and/or services. If you aren't ready to file the SOU, you need to file a Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use within six months of when your Notice of Allowance was issued. The extensions can be filed every six months for up to 36 months. Start my Statement of Use
2. Why do I need to file statement of use?Without filing the Statement of Use, your trademark application cannot be finalized and approved. This helps lessen confusion that might exist if multiple trademarks get registered but never used.
If you are not sure about whether you can use a certain name, you can consult our online service stuff for help.
If you filed your trademark on the basis of intent to use, you must file a Statement of Use to show you are using it to sell goods and/or services. If you aren't ready to file the SOU, you need to file a Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use within six months after your Notice of Allowance was issued. The extensions can be filed every six months for up to 36 months. Start my Statement of Use
3. When do I need to file statement of use?When you got notice of allowance, you must file a Statement of Use to show you are using it to sell goods and/or services. If you aren't ready to file the SOU, you need to file a Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use within six months of when your Notice of Allowance was issued. The extensions can be filed every six months for up to 36 months. Start my Statement of Use
4. What is required to file statement of use with Legalhoop?Just provide us specimens to prove use of the mark in commerce on or in connection with all the goods and services listed in the application.
For the rest, just count on us. We will help you to prepare the paperwork. Start my Statement of Use
5. What kind of specimens should I provide?The acceptable specimens for goods should be tags, labels, instruction manuals, containers, photographs that show the mark on the actual goods or packaging, and displays associated with the actual goods at their point of sale. Showing a photo only of a decorative element does not count. Standards allow for the small logo to be placed at the left breast of a shirt as it's deemed to create the commercial impression.
If you sell services, advertising and marketing materials, brochures, photographs of business signage and billboards, and webpages that show the mark used in the actual sale, rendering, or advertising of the services will serve as the acceptable specimens. Start my Statement of Use
6. What Legalhoop can help with my statement of use?We will give our opinions regarding to the acceptability of your specimens. We will help our client prepare the paperwork and file the statement of use on their behalf with affordable service fee. Start my Statement of Use
7. What is the expected cost to work with Legalhoop for statement of use?Legalhoop charge flat service fee as $125 for helping our clients preparing and filing statement of use.
The government filing fee depends on the number of classes included in the application and whether extension or statement of use required. USPTO will charge $100/class for processing statement of use and $125/class for extension of statement of use. Since we can not tell the amount of government filing fee due at the time you place the order, this amount will be charged later after we reviewing your case. Start my Statement of Use
8. When will I get response from Legalhoop after placing the order?Legalhoop support team will usually send an email to our clients within 2 business days after order placed. If you haven’t got the email, please check whether it’s spammed or you may contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org directly. Start my Statement of Use
- Office Action
1. What is an office actions issued on trademark applications?An office action is an official letter sent by the USPTO. In it, an examining attorney lists any legal problems with your chosen trademark, as well as with the application itself. You must resolve all legal problems in the office action before we can register your trademark. Start my Trademark Office Action Response
2. What are the common types of office actions?In an office action, an examining attorney may require that you fix legal problems with the application itself ("requirements") by making simple revisions, such as clarifying your goods or services, entity type, trademark drawing. (referred as Simple office actions by Legalhoop)
Or if the specimens doesn’t meet the requirement, you will get an office action requiring substitute specimens as well. (referred as Simple office actions by Legalhoop)
An examining attorney may also raise legal rejections ("refusals"), such as refusing your application because your chosen trademark is likely to be confused with an already registered trademark. (referred as Complex office actions by Legalhoop) Start my Trademark Office Action Response
3. What is the expected cost to work with Legalhoop for OA response?For simple office actions, we will charge flat service fee as $125. Usually no government filing fee will be charged. But, if any, it will be charged separately.
For complex office actions, we will charge flat service fee as $399. Usually no government filing fee will be charged. But, if any, it will be charged separately. Start my Trademark Office Action Response
4. How long will we get contacted by Legalhoop once order placed?Legalhoop support teamwill usually send an email to you within 2 business days after order placed and state clearly what we may need from your side. If you haven’t got the email within 3 business days, please check whether it’s spammed or you may contact us via email@example.com directly. Start my Trademark Office Action Response
- Copyright Protection
1. What kind of works can be protected by a copyright?Books, movies, songs, artistic drawings, paintings, photographs are all copyrightable. Other two-dimensional and three-dimensional expressions that visually depict three-dimensional objects are also copyrightable. Here is the list of works that are copyrightable:
- Written work such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, textbooks, reference works or articles
- Directories or catalogs, advertising copy
- Computer programs
- Website or online materials
- Art Work
- Technical Drawings
- Recorded performance of music or sound
- Written music & Lyrics, Screenplay or script
- A Choreographic work
- A recorded score for a movie or play
- Feature film, documentary film, animated film, television show, video, or other Audi-Visual Work
2. What are the advantages to have your works copyrighted?Registering your copyright establishes a public record of your claim, allows you to take legal action against infringement, and may entitle you to statutory damages and attorney’s fees in court.
If you are not sure about whether you can use a certain name, you can consult our online service stuff for help. Start Your Copyright Registration!
3. What are the rights that come with a copyright?Generally speaking, the owner of a copyright has the right to do the following:
- Reproduce copies of the work
- Prepare derivative works
- Distribute copies
- Perform the work publicly either in person or recorded
- Display the work publicly
4. When do I need to register my copyright?You can file at any time after you complete your work. However, if you register before or within five years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. If you register your work within three months after the publication or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner. In other words, if you wait until there is an infringement to register your work so you can have access to the courts, you may lose the valuable right to seek the recovery of statutory damages and attorneys' fees. Start Your Copyright Registration!
5. How long does it take to get a copyright registered?It takes at least nine months for the Copyright Office to review applications. You can expect a letter, telephone call or email from a Copyright Office staff member if further information is needed. Start Your Copyright Registration!
6. How long does a copyright last?In most cases, a copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. If the author of the work died in 2100, then the copyright, in most situations, would last until 2170. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works, the duration of copyright is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation (whichever is shorter) Start Your Copyright Registration!
7. Explanation about "author" and "a work made for hire":The “author” is the person responsible for the creation of the work, and the copyright in the work immediately becomes the property of the author. That is easy to figure out when one person created it and is responsible for it, as is the case most of the time.
When there is employment or a payment for someone else to create something, it can get a little more complicated. If it’s a work made for hire, the employer will be the author.
“A work for hire” means that it was created by an employee in the course and scope of their employment. This simply means that they created the work as part of their job and it was part of their duties to create these types of things. This would cover the programmer working for Google or the illustrator working for Pixar.
Just because you pay for someone to create a drawing, computer program or design a website, does not mean you own the copyright to it. To own the work done by someone else, it must be a work for hire which means that it was created by an employee in the course and scope of their employment.
But what about contractors? When using outside contractors to create things, it usually requires a written contract assigning the copyright or intellectual property rights to the person paying for the creation for the person paying to own the copyright.
More specifically, Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a “work made for hire” as: (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. Start Your Copyright Registration!
8. Will my copyright become public record?Your copyright application is a public record including the identity of the author of the work. Start Your Copyright Registration!
9. Can I protect my copyright under my pseudonym or artistic name?Yes. The author of the work can use a pen name, pseudonym or artistic name. You can file it so only the pseudonym appears in the record or you can have it where both are available to the public. While available, filing under a pseudonym may make it harder for you to license your work or enforce it because you will have to prove that you are the person behind the pseudonym. A work filed under a pseudonym enjoys protections that is either the earlier of 95 years from the publication of the work or 120 years from its creation, whichever is shorter. Meanwhile, if the author is identified, then copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Start Your Copyright Registration!
- Trademark Search Engine
1. How does Legalhoop's trademark search engine work?Legalhoop allows you to search US and China pending and registered trademarks to avoid directhit- trademarks that are already registered. When you are ready to file, you can click the tab labeled "Services" and simply select a trademark registration option, and you will be prompted to provide all of the information needed in order to file your trademark. Register your trademark today!
2. When I search for a name, a lot of results showing registrations for the same name come up. Does that mean I cannot register that name?Not necessarily. If you plan to use the name for goods and/or services that are distinct from the other registrations, you may still be able to get your name registered. Under U.S. trademark law, trademarks are separated into classes that indicate what types of goods and/or services those trademarks are being used with. Therefore, if you apply for the same name as a prior registration, but plan to use it in an entirely unrelated field of goods and/or services, registration may still be possible. However, please note that applying for an already registered name always presents greater risks than applying for a name that isn't taken.
If you are not sure about whether you can use a certain name, you can consult our online service stuff for help. Register your trademark today!
3. Does the search engine on Legalhoop stay current?Legalhoop provides regular updates to its search engine database to ensure that up-to-date trademark registrations are presented. Register your trademark today!