One of the best ways to protect your intellectual property (IP) is to register it with the appropriate government office. However, what exactly do you gain by registering your intellectual property? Are the additional rights worth the investment of time and money? Or can they be safely skipped?

Get Started Protect your intellectual property Create IP documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

How to Register a Copyright and Why

Under US law, copyright protection applies from the moment the work is created, without any requirement for registration. However, registering your work with the Library of Congress Copyright Office is a good idea for several reasons. Registration allows you to bring a suit for copyright infringement in federal court in a much larger number of situations. It also establishes evidence of facts included in the registration certificate as long as you registered the work within five years of its first publication. It’s also worth noting that without a registration, you cannot collect statutory damages or attorney fees for copyright infringement.

How to Register a Trademark and Why

While unregistered trademarks are protected under common law and the Lanham Act, registering them confers several exclusive rights. You may be able to bring a trademark suit to a federal court in a much larger number of situations, if the trademark has been registered. Your trademark is assumed to be valid as long as it is registered. The most important benefit, however, is that the registration grants you nationwide trademark rights, whereas an unregistered trademark can only be enforced locally.

How to Register Patents and Why

While registering a patent can be an expensive, time-consuming process, owning a patent provides many exclusive rights, though for a limited time. The most important of those is the exclusive right to use, sell and otherwise distribute the patented invention, plant or design. These rights can be enforced against parties infringing upon your patent, though their benefits only apply if the patent is actually granted. Unlike copyright or trademarks, an invention isn’t protected by law before a patent is granted, unless it’s protected by the owner or inventor as a trade secret.

Get Started Protect your intellectual property Create IP documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

Get Started Protect your intellectual property Create IP documents and ask a lawyer your questions.