Comprehensive Assistance Establishing And Protecting Copyrights

In addition to trademarks and patents, many business owners in Georgia protect their intellectual property through the use of copyrights, which protect original works of authorship — such as drawings, songs, books, speeches, copy, paintings, cartoons and screenplays — from theft or infringement by other individuals or business entities. Used as part of a well-maintained intellectual property portfolio, copyrights provide business owners with the reassurance that their assets are protected and that if infringement or other issues should arise, business owners have recourse to take legal action.

Helping business owners protect their most valuable assets is the primary goal of all the attorneys at Jones & Walden, LLC. Best known for our ability to provide the same high-quality services offered at larger firms, our law firm is also known for setting Georgia businesses up for success with their intellectual property while also being available to quickly resolve disputes and issues if they should arise.

Understanding Copyrights

In contrast to trademarks, which identify the source of goods, copyrights are not an identifier of source, but rather a protection against the unauthorized use of works of authorship.

A copyright is acquired upon creation, but registration of the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is the safer practice. For a work to be copyrightable, it must be:

  1. Fixed in a tangible medium of expression
  2. Original

Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office puts the world on notice that a work is owned and protected by copyright. If someone uses your original work without permission or compensation, you can file a copyright lawsuit to enjoin the activity and recover actual damages caused by the infringement.

Registering Your Copyright

Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is a prerequisite to your recovery of certain damages. For example, a copyright owner may recover statutory damages (i.e., damages provided by the copyright statute over and above any actual damages) and attorney's fees in an infringement action if the work is registered for copyright protection.

Works Made For Hire

Another important concept of copyright law is "works made for hire." Work for hire is typically a copyrightable work made by an employee for his or her employer or a work specially commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work. The ownership of a work should be identified, and legally binding documentation should be signed prior to commencement of the project. Additionally, certain actions pertaining to licensing and assignment of copyright must be in writing.

Jones & Walden, LLC, can assist you with all employer or employee copyright planning, creative endeavors or issues and any assignment and licensing needs regarding works made for hire.

Diverse Backgrounds. Experienced Counsel.

At Jones & Walden, LLC, our lawyers are qualified to assist you with copyright registration, understanding copyrights, protection of your copyrighted works and initiating a lawsuit for infringement of your copyright. We have extensive litigation experience across a range of business-related legal areas, which allows us to provide one-stop assistance to address more than just a business's intellectual property issues.

If you would like to learn more about our intellectual property services or would like to speak with one of our skilled lawyers to discuss your specific copyright needs, we encourage you to contact our Atlanta office today to schedule a consultation. Call 678-701-9235 or contact us online to get started.