Copyrights and Trademarks in Business Transactions

Copyrights and trademarks defend discrete concepts. Usually, copyrights guard original or rational works of the people whereas trademarks usually apply to commercial identities, phrases, and symbols. Copyrights mainly defend the rights of people who originate fictional, theatrical, musical, creative, and other precise intellectual works. Trademarks defend the usage of names of any company and its products, brand identities (like logos, symbols, emblems), and slogans. The protections under copyrights and trademarks are so legally distinct that they are handled at two different workplaces within the federal government.

Copyright in business transactions

Copyright benefits the natural author of the work. Business heads should ensure that contracts of the company’s employment and service agreements must contain an IP clause which should state for the assignment to the company for all the original works in as broadest way as possible. The law has set out precise rules regarding this, which must be valued. It should be duly noted that computer programs are significant exceptions, which in the absence of a provision to the contrary, all economic rights and copyright regarding computer programs which are created by one or more bodies in the respect of their duties or instructions are supposed to be assigned to the employer. 

Copyright has advantages over other intellectual rights as in some cases, creations can be defended by various other types of rights. For instance, the software is benefitted from copyright but it can also get benefit from patent protection. Similarly, it is for slogans, logos, or the product packaging which benefits under the copyright protection but upon fulfilling certain conditions can be benefitted under the trademark protection. 

In business transactions, the advantage of copyright is that no investment is needed to maintain or obtain copyright. Hence, it is automatic. Due to the signing of various international conventions like the Berne Convention, by 164 countries, the magnitude of copyrights has been strengthened in the world. Trademarks necessitate the filing of an application with the respective national or international authorities or organizations. These filings are usually maintained by trademark agents which can be expensive if the protection is required in numerous countries. Copyright protection comes with an advantage duration which is 70 years from the author’s death. 

If the register of copyright-protected work is not maintained then it is not possible to verify that the work is protected is not. The best alternative to avoid the risk of regenerating a protected work is not to replicate original works.

Trademark in business transactions

A trademark can be any name, phrase, emblem, symbol, slogan, etc., which helps in both identifying and distinguishing any business or product from the others present in the market. Trademark is necessarily the other term for a brand name. Once the business is trademarked and anybody attempted to use anything similar enough to even confuse the customers, the person can legally protect itself and put the other party on halt.

Though it is not legally bound, it is always beneficial to register the name of the business as a trademark. Whenever any other business tries to have similar names, you will have a legal obligation to stop. Trademarked named marks of all the products and services prevent counterfeit products. Some banks will not permit you to open a business account under the name of your business if it is not being trademarked. Some banks will permit ‘doing business as (DBA)’ which generates a registered fictional business name but it does not provide a legal defense as of a trademark. 

Trademarking a business provides legal ownership in specific locations, be it state, local, or nationwide. All the exclusive rights are retained to mark the products with the owner and nobody else will be allowed to use the name, symbol, emblem, slogan in the particular region with a trademark. Trademarks are necessary for executing a successful company as it protects businesses and its consumers.

Conclusion 

A copyright protects the shape of the writing itself instead of the topic matter of the writing or the name or logo contained within the creative work which trademark law can protect. Copyrights are often accustomed to protect your company’s original creative works – sales brochures, advertising and promotional materials, videos, instruction manuals, photographs, and website content – from getting used by others without your permission. As a copyright owner, you'll control how your work is reproduced, distributed, and presented publicly. Importantly, you'll stop others including competitors, from using your copyrighted works or works that are substantially almost like yours.

A trademark is one of the foremost important business assets that a corporation will ever own because it identifies and distinguishes the corporate and its products/services within the marketplace from its competitors. Therefore, it's good practice for all business owners to require sufficient action to guard and enforce valuable trademarks. As a trademark owner, you'll stop others, including competitors, from using your trademark or a confusingly similar one. One of several effective ways to guard a trademark is to register it with the state or federal.

 

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