I have been contacted by several attorneys who would like me to correct my previous blog about Copyright costs. They have all informed me that the amount that I quoted (less that ($1000) was only if one was to file for themselves which was akin to preforming dentistry on oneself or walking across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope and a few other undesirable activities. The point is to ensure the best protection, you really should be using an attorney and that is going to cost you more than what I quoted in my previous post.
The prices sent to me varied, but let’s just say it could cost you as little as $2,800 and upwards of $4,500. Another determining factoring is going to depend on whether you are talking about a copy right or a trademark Both protect intellectual property, but do you need both? First of all let’s talk about intellectual property.
These are the works, processes, symbols and designs that a company created and owns. This can include logos, slogans, written documents or artistic works. If the business owner is to enforce the enforce right to use intellectual property they must register the work at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPTO) or the United States Copyright Office (USCO), depending on the type of property a business seeks to protect.
A Copyright includes works, processes, symbols and designs that were created or are owned by a company. This can include logos and slogans, and written documents or artistic works. To enforce the ownership and right to use intellectual property, the business owner must register it at the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the United States Copyright Office, depending on the type of property a business wants to protect.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates that a trademark protects “words, names, symbols, sounds or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.” This means that a company can register a trademark for its business name, slogans, logos and other items that essentially brand the product or company. Registering a trademark first requires doing a trademark search sometimes in one or more “classes” to ensure it’s not already in use. Due to the potential legal ramifications, most trademark experts recommend using an attorney to assist in trademark registration. This process can take anyway from 12-18 months.
The Difference Between Copyright and Trademark
While both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as its logo. For example, ABC Poetry Club would trademark its name and logo, but would copyright books and videos that it created.
I am not an attorney, but I will tell you that having variations on your logo can increase the cost of your filing. Also the level of detail in your searches can increase your cost, if you have to file in more than one class, which will increase your cost. If there are variations to your design or brand then you have to file an application for each variation unless they are similar enough that it is not needed (an example of this is when a company has an A logo a B logo and sometimes even a C logo that they use for different circumstances).
So I still firmly believe that you should protect your brand and your logo, but I was a bit off on how much it will cost you to do so, so you have my most sincere apologies. I also firmly believe you should have an attorney assist you with this very confusing process if you want to ensure that you have the best protection possible. We all invest so much time and money into our businesses, it just doesn’t make since that we wouldn’t protect our brand and our intellectual property, does it?