Branding has always been important element of successful business but the increased opportunity for exposure brought about by modern technology has made it even more essential for your business than ever before. As a business owner, the bulk of your efforts will be focused on building a strong brand but there may come a time when you have to protect your brand too. In such cases, it will be important to know the basics about Fair Use, Trademark, and Copyright law.
The easiest place to start is by distinguishing between Trademark and Copyright. Both protect intellectual property but copyrights are better suited for creative works such as music, software, or books whereas trademarks are for works typically used to represent a business (e.g. logos). The process required to obtain trademarks or copyrights varies, depending on what you are seeking to protect, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the steps required for anything applicable to your company. Once you’ve properly obtained copyrights or trademarks then it is your exclusive privilege to use that work. But, of course, there are exceptions.
Fair Use is a principle that allows for the unauthorized use of trademarked or copyrighted material if the use is for things like scholarship, criticism, parody, or journalism. These are collectively known as “transformative” purposes. It isn’t always clear whether Fair Use applies so if you’re unsure whether your use of copyrighted material (or if someone else’s use of your copyrighted material) is covered it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney. Courts consider a variety of factors and a quality attorney will be able to explore these factors with you before you dive into a lawsuit, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Call J. Cutler Law Today
At J. Cutler Law, we offer free consultations for you and your business. We can aide you in securing patents, copyrights, and trademarks. If you feel someone has infringed on your copyright(s) or you have been accused of copyright infringement then we can advise on the best course of action in your specific situation. Call us today for a free consultation at (801) 618-4469 or contact us online.