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Business & Corporate Law

Trademarks & Copyrights

BUSINESS & CORPORATE LAW ATTORNEY - BUSINESS & CORPORATE LAW LAWYER

Rice provides a range of legal services relating to trademarks, such as assistance with trademark clearance searches; federal and state trademark registrations, trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, trademark disputes; contracts; licensing agreements and disputes and dispute resolution proceedings for internet domain names

Rice is also experienced in obtaining federal copyright registrations and in providing general legal counsel in copyright matters, including copyright infringement litigation involving literary, artistic and musical works, software, and copyright registration of software.


Rice provides a range of legal services relating to trademarks, such as assistance with trademark clearance searches; federal and state trademark registrations, trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, trademark disputes; contracts; licensing agreements and disputes and dispute resolution proceedings for internet domain names

Rice is also experienced in obtaining federal copyright registrations and in providing general legal counsel in copyright matters, including copyright infringement litigation involving literary, artistic and musical works.

What is a Trademark Application?

A trademark application is a legal document filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the purpose of seeking federal registration of your trademark.  Traditionally, a trademark consists of words, a logo, or a combination of the two.  However, you may also apply to register trade dress, sounds, colors, and other types of non-traditional trademarks.

The Trademark Office provides six different trademark application forms.  Two of the trademark application forms are used to apply to register a trademark on the Principal Register, one is used to seek registration of a trademark on the Supplemental Register, and the other three forms are used to register certification marks, collective membership marks, and collective trademarks.  It is very important to correctly identify the type of mark you want to register and then choose the proper application form.

Registration of a trademark on the Principal Register is by far the most common application made with the Trademark Office.  The applicant for a trademark may be an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other legal entity.  A trademark application is considered null and void if anyone other than the owner of the trademark is named as the applicant.

Once a trademark application is submitted, you will receive an email confirmation containing a copy of the trademark application and its assigned serial number.  Thereafter, it will likely be approximately 3-6 months before a trademark examining attorney will review your application and provide either an initial office action with questions regarding the application, statements as to why they believe the requested trademark is not proper for registration or otherwise move the application towards registration.

What is a Copyright

Copyright protects original creative works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.  A copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.  A copyright belongs to the owner unless you willing give those rights away (i.e. license or sell).  Rights that belong solely to the owner are as follows:

     • The right to reproduce the work
     • The right to prepare derivative works
     • The right to distribute copies
     • The right to perform the work (i.e. music, etc.)
     • The righto display the work publicly

As with most things, there are exceptions, such as fair use, parody and those item that have fallen into the public domain.

How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?

As stated above, Copyright protects original creative works of authorship, while a Patent protects inventions or discoveries.  A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.

A creative work has copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that allows it to be perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  In general, since a copyright exists from the moment it is created, registration is not necessary.  However, If you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement you must register your work with the U.S. Copyright office.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

United States Copyright Office


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