Protecting your intellectual property with a copyright

Glenn W. Peterson

If you have created a literary, artistic, musical or dramatic work, you likely poured all of yourself into it. At the law firm of Millstone, Peterson & Watts, LLP, we know that you will want to get credit for your work and ensure your creation is only used as you see fit. Perhaps the most effective method for you, and others in California, to protect this type of intellectual property is to obtain a copyright. In this post, we will discuss what a copyright is and how you may use it to protect your work.

A copyright is a type of protection that is established through the U.S. Constitution. It prevents others from taking and using or presenting your work as their own. The protection offered through copyrights extends to novels, poetry, songs, movies, architecture and other such created works the moment they are created. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, you may use a copyright to protect published or unpublished original works of authorship.

Although copyright protection is automatic, it is important for you to register your work with the Copyright Office. This step makes the facts of your copyright public record and endows you with legal rights in the event someone steals your intellectual property. In such cases, you may file an infringement lawsuit, seeking an order forcing another to cease using or return your creation, as well as statutory damages. Thus, you may be able to limit the effects of another person using your work for their own gain and regain control of your creation.

For more information regarding how to protect your intellectual property, please visit our Copyright page.