Understanding What Can Be Copyrighted And Trademarked

When it comes to protecting your work, it can feel complicated without knowing how to do it from a legal perspective. There are copyrights and trademarks, both of which can be used to protect your work so that others cannot steal it. Here are some tips to understand the differences between the two so you know which one to use.

Trademark Uses

The most popular use of trademark is when you have some sort of symbol that you are looking to protect. This can be the logo or icon associated with a company, even if the symbol is plain text. That is because the way that the letters are shaped can be so unique to a brand that the style of the font can be protected by a trademark due to it being a logo. The name itself can also be trademarked for use in any type of print material. When using your name as a brand, you may even need to trademark your own name to protect others from using it for competing brands.

Short catchphrases, tag lines, and slogans can also be protected in order to prevent them from being used by others. Some examples include Nike's "Just Do It" and McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It." These are phrases that are closely associated with their brands and used in advertising, and trademarking the phrases helps prevent them from being used by others. Sometimes it is worth trademarking similar phrases to make sure others do not use them. For example, trademarking "I Am Loving It," may be wise since it is so close to the original.

Copyright Uses

A copyright is used to protect a work as a whole, which can include many different elements that come together to form a finished product. This is often used for movies, books, and other artistic creations. You are not just protecting the work itself, but what people can do with it. Having a copyright on a particular item gives you over control over who can perform or distribute your work. This means if you make a movie and have a copyright of the script, it prevents someone from turning it into a book or performing the script as a play.

Copyright is also effective as soon as you create the work and have proof of it being created. However, you need to work with a lawyer to legally copyright the material as well. This helps if you need to sue someone for using your work illegally.

For more information, contact a law firm such as Lingbeck Law Office.