Here at Snow Christensen & Martineau, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you safeguard your copyrighted materials and protecting you from copyright infringement. Copyrights protect nearly every form of expression, regardless of how artistic it may be.
The expression of ideas can take many forms:
- Architectural drawings
- Computer generated graphics
While copying may be the sincerest form of flattery, it can also have devastating impacts on a business. Copyright attaches as soon as a work is created. However, by filing copyright registration applications, an artisan or company can protect valuable content from those who wish to steal it.
The Importance of a Copyright Application
If a copyright application is filed within three months of publication or prior to copyright infringement, the copyright owner can
- Be awarded attorney’s fees and statutory damages against infringers
- Settle their claims quickly and avoid lengthy litigations
It is also critical for companies and individuals to understand the potential exposure they may face for copying other’s designs. A lazy employee who steals rather than creates, can create substantial liability for a company.
Additionally, ownership of designs can be a significant issue. While designs created by employees are usually owned by the company, designs created in independent contractor relationships are usually owned by the contractor. Thus, care must be taken to ensure that designs used in advertising and the like are 1) not infringing and 2) actually owned by the company.
SCM is experienced in protecting copyrightable works, and in preparation of “work-for-hire” and other agreements to ensure that the proper party owns the copyrights when all is said and done. Likewise, SCM is experienced in litigating copyright infringement suits and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants.
At the behest of the Utah State Bar in 2015, Randall B. Bateman conducted the New Lawyer Copyright Law Seminar for new attorneys and interested individuals. This material is now available online. For a crash course in copyrights, this is the place to start.