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Copyrights protect nearly every form of expression, regardless of how artistic it may be. 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.
If a copyright application is filed within three months of publication or prior to infringement, the copyright owner can be awarded attorney’s fees and statutory damages against infringers. This can be the deciding factor between a quick settlement and lengthy litigation.
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.
Bateman IP Law Group 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, the firm is experienced in litigating copyright suits and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants.