The importance of registering trademarks & copyrights
Behind every great product is a great brand name. And odds are, if the product is successful, someone, somewhere will use it to sell a counterfeiter to promote competing products. This is why it is so important to register your trademarks and copyrights prior to distributing your product.
As an inventor, you may or may not be attached to your product name; or, you may not even have one yet – that’s ok. If you license your product, the licensee may just change the name anyway. However, we know that for some of you, your brand name, and perhaps some images, are very important to your product and your pitch. If that is the case, these things should be protected prior to presenting your product to potential investors and/or distributors. Big companies (we won’t name names) will not hesitate to rip-off a name or idea they like.
Although trademark and copyright registrations are not required, without them, you will have little to no ability to enforce your rights. Additionally, if you register your copyrighted images, videos, etc., should someone use them without authorization, you could be entitled to damages and attorneys’ fees. Moreover, an attorney may be more willing to take your case if he knows he can recover his fees.
Intellectual property protection is incredibly beneficial should you be in the position of fighting counterfeiters and sales platforms (e.g. ebay or Amazon) that facilitate their efforts. While, copyrights are much more manageable, and can be registered with the Library of Congress for a nominal fee, trademark registrations can be a bit complex if you do not know how to properly search for similar marks (to increase your chances that your filing will not be rejected), categorize your goods or services, or if you have never filed anything with the USPTO before.
Please email us at DLG@DigitalLawGroup.com if you have any questions about protecting your intellectual property. Be sure to mention that you are a UIA member!