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March 2016 Archives

Patent Frequently Asked Questions

You ask, we answer. The following patent, trademark and copyright questions are the most popular ones we hear when our new clients call. We've put them all in one easy-to-read Patent FAQ page for you.

Copyrighted Photographs on Pinterest.com

While this blog is directed to concerns over Pinterest, a short primer on copyright law may be in order. Copyright protection is provided for original works of authorship. A copyright is formed immediately upon creation of the original work. Nothing else needs to be done and there is no such thing as a "poor man's copyright" i.e. mailing the work to yourself. However, there are advantages to registering your work with the US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov). To being with it is cheap and simple. You can generally do it yourself and the fee is only $35. Moreover, multiple photos can be submitted at the same time with a single fee. Thus, a photographer can file a batch of files every few months. Most importantly, if a work is registered, the holder of copyright can be awarded statutory and attorney fees. In other words, the artist does not need to prove damages, instead they are assumed and tens of thousands of dollars may be awarded without proving any losses. If a work is not registered, the artist can still sue, but can only recover actual damages such as lost profits and profits of the infringing party, both of which are difficult to show. Finally, it is important to know that in order to obtain statutory damages, the filing for the registration must be made 3 months before publication or before the infringement. If this window is missed, it can be rectified for subsequent infringements by a future filing, but statutory damages for prior acts will still not be available.

Don't risk losing your intellectual property rights by failing to act.

Register for patent, trademark or copyright protection by calling Kaufhold & Dix at 952-426-0314 or 605-334-1571.

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