Everyone in your company should take OWNERSHIP of your brand -- starting from the top down. Management should set an example for all employees by owning the brand image, providing guidelines, and
Protect OWNERSHIP of your Brand Assets with legal copyright and trademark.
Legal Protection for your Brand Elements
"A trademark is a distinctive phrase, word, logo, or other graphics that serve to identify the source of a product, and to distinguish that product from competing products in the marketplace. Examples of trademarks include FORD®, IBM®, VELCRO®, FORMICA®, "Have it your way®", and "Fly the Friendly Skies®." Each of these well-known marks calls to mind a particular company and their distinctive products."
"A strong trademark is a mark that is distinctive because the words or graphics are creative or out of the ordinary. For example, unique logos, made up words (Exxon), words that are surprising in their context (Diesel fashions), words that are suggestive without being literally descriptive (Slenderella) qualify for strong trademarks. On the other hand, people's names (Ray's Pizza), descriptive terms (Quality automotive), and locations (New York motorcycles) are not considered to be inherently distinctive, leading to weak trademarks or no marks at all."
"Trademarks are obtained by applying to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov). Be sure to seek the advice of qualified counsel before applying for your mark. For the best protection create something unique, apply for your trademark, and use the mark to build your brand."
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.
Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:
These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most "compilations" may be registered as "literary works"; maps and architectural plans may be registered as "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works."
No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or audiorecorded for the first time. There are, however, certain advantages to registration. For more information go to: http://www.copyright.gov
Patents are used to protect inventions. A patent consists of a description of the invention and claims of its capabilities and applications of the specific invention. It's best to have a patent drafted by an intellectual property or patent attorney who understands how the process works. For more information about filing a patent, call the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (800) 786-9199 or visit the USPTO website: http://www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm
Copyrights protects original artistic, literary, dramatic, musical and other intellectual property works, including compilations such as multimedia works and computer programs and websites. You cannot copyright an idea! What you can claim copyright in is your original expression of an idea that is written down. You cannot copyright names, titles or short phrases. You can indicate "ownership" on an image, artwork, web site or document by putting a notice "Copyright (year) by (your legal name)" in a visible spot. You can also file legal documents with the U.S. Copyright Office.
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