September 26, 2022
Brand Trademark

Copyright or Trademark – Protecting Your Creative Work

Copyright or Trademark

Artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, writers, and all creative individuals should protect their work – their intellectual property. After all, it’s yours; you create because you must and want to retain your rights to any income and guard your stature. There is often a great deal of confusion regarding the difference between a copyright or trademark. Which of these should you employ to protect your reputation and work?

The answer is likely both. Each piece of work, painting, computer software, or song automatically receives copyright protection when you create it, so long as you preserve some form of that original work.

But, copyright only protects that particular piece, which is important but much different than a trademark.

What to Trademark

Where your copyright protects your creation, your trademark protects your identity, reputation, and brand. Trademarking your company name and logo will discourage copycats and shield your income and reputation.

This protection is particularly crucial for you as a creative because more than any other group of entrepreneurs, consumers most often associate you personally with your brand.

Think of famous rock ‘n’ roll artists like Kiss. While they have multiple trademarks for their brand, you likely still look at them as individuals if you are a fan. While this personal association is most common in some creative groups, most software designers and writers, among others, do not often encounter this perception.

With this example in mind, you can easily see the difference between what you should trademark as opposed to copyright. Everything that supports your work and your creative endeavors are available to trademark.

Where to Start

The initial step in applying for your trademark is to ensure that your chosen name is available for you to use legally. You must perform a comprehensive search to make sure the name is available and will not create confusion with another trademark.

You can use the US PTO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search your name and Word and Design Mark Search for symbols.

You must also file under the correct classification, identifying the product or service type and its intended use.

Many creative works fit into class 41 as entertainment or education services. But, items like downloadable music and artwork require filing under class 9. And, if you plan to sell clothing and swag, you will need to file for class 25.

Be sure to evaluate your plans and file your trademark applications accordingly. Remember, you must also prove that your brand actively participates in these categories to maintain your trademark.

What to Expect

Once you file your application with the USPTO, the wait begins. An examiner is assigned your application to review for approval. Expect to wait from 2 to as many as 13 months for the final decision.

Most applications encounter at least one Office Action indicating an issue you must address within a given timeframe. Failing to respond adequately in time will result in the cancellation of your application.

Only after your examiner determines your application “complete” and you ensure its approval through your agent or attorney will you receive a “Notice of Allowance.” This document will indicate all the necessary fees you must pay before you can use your new trademark.

Now you can proudly and confidently share your brand with the world, knowing that your trademark guards against infringement of your talent.

But, we have only scratched the surface. There is much more to consider and be aware of when building your brand and seeking trademark protection.

Use Your Time Wisely

It’s never a good idea to make blanket statements about groups of individuals. However, it is probably safe to say that, as a creator, spending countless hours going over forms, researching the depths of legalese, and sparring with the bureaucratic system is not your favorite pastime.

You don’t need to go through all this because Trademark Factory® has you covered. Our 100% money-back guarantee for the success of your trademark application can make your life much easier.

We will work with you to gather the information and file your trademark application. We take care of the forms and all the preliminary research and tasks. 

Those Office Actions – we will handle them also.

And, we guarantee success with the promise of a full refund should your application be rejected.

Conclusion

Building and operating a creative brand is exhilarating, challenging, and potentially highly rewarding. The rewards of running even the most modest entrepreneurship can be boundless. The autonomy and flexibility are incredibly enticing for those visionaries and innovators that create.

Your hard work and talent deserve protection, and Trademark Factory® is the easiest and most reliable path to that result. Please take advantage of our free consultation and save yourself an enormous amount of stress and effort.

 

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