Comprehending Copyright and Trademark in Chicago
Copyright law and trademark law are both fundamental to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights3 min read
Copyright law and trademark law are both fundamental to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. In order to understand how to protect and enforce these rights, it’s important to understand the differences and similarities between copyright and trademark.
When companies, organizations, or individuals are looking for legal guidance to understand copyright and trademark law in the United States, it is important to consider the local regulations in the Chicago area. The Chicago region benefits from the city’s global economic reach, and it’s home to some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world that rely on the law’s protections.
For professional legal counsel that understands the local Chicago regulations and is well-equipped to handle matters of copyright and trademark, UpCounsel is the go-to resource. UpCounsel brings together expert business attorneys who specialize in such areas, with an average of 14 years of experience in their respective fields. With UpCounsel, companies have access to high-quality attorneys on demand, and profiles of each attorney provide information on client ratings and reviews of recent work.
To start, understanding the basics of copyright vs. trademark protection is essential. Copyright protection is designed to protect the creativity of an individual, while trademark protection is used to protect the use of certain marks, symbols, and/or names that identify and differentiate a business’ services from those of others.
Copyright protection is used to protect an individual’s own creation. When applied, it gives the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or perform the work in certain ways. Copyright law is established by the U.S. Copyright Office, and can be applied to any original work of art. Copyrighting works in creative fields such as literature, music, architecture, software, and more.
In Chicago, the length of copyright protection is divided into two primary categories: Works created on or after January 1, 1978, must be registered with the Copyright Office. After registration, copyright protection for these works lasts for the creator’s life plus seventy years after death. For works created before January 1, 1978, the protection period lasts for decades.
In contrast, trademarks are used to identify and differentiate a company's goods and services in the marketplace. It is important to use a trademark because it allows a company to protect its good name, and also protects customers from confusion when using similar services and goods offered by competitors.
In Chicago, trademark law is established by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To register a trademark, an applicant must first make sure that the trademark has not already been taken by another business or person. If registered successfully, the trademark will be protected indefinitely.
In both copyright and trademark law, the U.S. Copyright Office and USPTO set forth specific rules and requirements which must be met in order for a company to obtain protection.
When looking for legal protection for intellectual property rights in the Chicago area, individuals and companies should look to professional counsel that understands the local laws. UpCounsel provides experienced attorneys who specialize in copyright and trademark law, for companies of any size.
Understanding the differences and similarities between copyright and trademark law is essential when looking to protect intellectual property rights. Copyright protection is available for works created on or after January 1, 1978, and it lasts for the creator’s life plus seventy years after death. Trademark protection is granted to identifiable marks that are used to identify and differentiate goods and services in the marketplace, and is protected indefinitely once it has been successfully registered.