Copyrights are used to protect a person’s rights to their artistic works. Artists may be delighted to find out that copyrights can be utilized to protect their rights for a variety of dramatic, literary and other creative works, including computer software, songs, architecture and novels. However, it is important to note that copyrights can’t protect operation methods, ideas, facts, or systems.
Many clients ask their intellectual property attorneys if they can copyright their domain name or website. Existing laws don’t allow you to copyright your web address. However, you can protect any information that you author on your website such as photographs, artwork, or writings by copyrighting them.
Clients also commonly ask whether they can copyright the name of their brand or some alternate name, title, logo, or slogan. Unfortunately, you can’t copyright any of these. However, you can still pursue protections for your brand through trademarking them.
Additionally, you may also be able to copyright a formula or recipe provided that it doesn’t just list the ingredients that go into an entree, but instead also have directions for how best to use the ingredients. However, the U.S. Copyright Office warns that copyrights are published publicly. Thus, in many cases, it would not be ideal for individuals possessing a secret recipe to copyright their work.
Federal officials started allowing owners of architectural drawings or plans to apply for copyrights on Dec. 1, 1990. Additionally, individuals who inherit a diary or other type of creative, non-published work can generally still qualify for copyright protections.
Determining which intellectual property to apply for to protect your creation isn’t easy. An experienced intellectual property attorney can help you determine whether you qualify to file for copyright. Additionally, whether it be a patent, trademark, or copyright, an experienced attorney can also help you fill out the necessary paperwork to protect your intellectual property rights.