You have created a product. The question now is how to protect it against infringement. Without this protection, your product is in Public domain. Let’s find out how to obtain patents, trademarks, and copyrights:
How to Obtain Patents
A patent is a Right granted by the Federal Government to an inventor to keep others from copying or selling his or her invention. Without a legally held patent, a product is in the public domain with little or no protection.
The Patent and Trademark Office is the organization that oversee patent and trademark laws, process application, and determine if a new patent can be granted.
The first step is a patent search to see differences, similarities, and to discover whether or not, you will be able to get a patent. The next step is to make application for your patent.
You can do a patent search, or hire a patent agent or patent attorney to locate previous patents relevant to the new patent. The search is done at the Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, Virginia, or at a branch Patent Depository Library. For a list of many branch Patent Depository Libraries, contact Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231.
The cost can vary based on obtaining a patent attorney to do the work for you. Expect to pay around $1,500 for a search and around $4,000 to obtain a patent. All patent agents and attorneys are listed in the “Attorneys & Agents Registered to Practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,” published by the Patent and Trademark Office. This publication can be found in most large libraries, as well as Patent and Trademark Office.
How to Obtain Trademarks
A trademark is a name that is used to make a product or service stand out from others in its field. The Official Gazette is a weekly publication published by the Patent and Trademark Office that lists recent patents and trademarks.
To search old established trademarks, refer to “The Index of Registered Trademarks.” The search can be done at one of the Depository Libraries or at many large public libraries.
To register a trademark, write and request an application from Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231.
Whatever you create, it is wise to protect it via copyright in case of infringement litigation for collecting damages. The copyright protects everything in the book except the title. It gives you the right to copy, distribute and sell an original work of authorship.
The copyright protection applies only to sequences of words or sounds, not the content. You cannot copyright titles, ideas, procedures, etc.
The copyright office keeps a record of the date a property existed and to whom it belongs in the Library of Congress. You will be required to send in two copies of the book, the required fee and registration form.
For works created after January 1, 1978, a copyright lasts for the author’s life, plus an additional 50 years after the author’s death. For works made for hire, the copyright will be 75 years from publication or 100 years from creation, whichever is shorter. Under the old law, the copyright lasts only 56 years if it was renewed for a second term of 28 years.
To secure copyright for a literary work, you publish the work with the copyright notice. The law requires that a copyright notice be placed on all publicly distributed copies on the title page or on the back side of the title page. The copyright notice consists of three elements: the symbol © or the word “Copyright,” the year of the first publication; and the name of copyright owner. For example, © 2017 John Doe. Also add “All right reserved.” You can call (202) 707-9100 and request the Form. For further information, call (202) 287-8700.
For a non-dramatic literary work, write to the Copyright Office and request Form TX. Fill in the Form TX and send it along with the required fee and two copies of the published work to:
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20559
The fee is $35 which must be paid by check or money order made payable to “The Register of Copyright.” After the Register of Copyright has processed your application and filed copies, you will receive an official certificate of copyright. The fee may change as with anything else, so be sure to contact them before proceeding.
By Paul Ziglar – 2019 – Update 2020
Copyright © 2019-2020 Allied Publishing
For additional articles written by Paul Ziglar, see alliedpublishing.com/home-based-business. John Wright is the author of How to Start and Operate Your Own Profitable Business At Home.