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   Author  Topic: Common law copyright and 1978  (Read 754 times)
MattB
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  mbycer   MBycer
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Common law copyright and 1978
« on: Dec 10th, 2007, 3:46pm »
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Hello,
 
I understand that under section 301 there is no common law copyright protection for works created after 1978(?), however, what if you have a work that was made in 1981, no registration to date, and in 2003 someone copied a portion of the work for their trademark.
 
Is there any remedy?
Can we register today and file for damages in their use /display of the mark since our registration date?
Can we stop their use of the trademark (copied graphic) at all?
 
Thank you,
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Matthew L. Bycer
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.bycer.com
http://www.cvglaw.com
Isaac
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Re: Common law copyright and 1978
« Reply #1 on: Dec 10th, 2007, 4:23pm »
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on Dec 10th, 2007, 3:46pm, MattB wrote:
Hello,
 
I understand that under section 301 there is no common law copyright protection for works created after 1978(?), however, what if you have a work that was made in 1981, no registration to date, and in 2003 someone copied a portion of the work for their trademark.

 
Common law copyright protection doesn't relate to the federal copyright system in  quite the same way as common law trademark protection relates to federal trademark protection.   Common law copyright protects works that are outside the scheme of federal copyright law.  In essence, only state common law  that attempted to protect creative works fixed in a tangible medium of expression was displaced by federal law.
 
For the work created in 1981, the solution would be to register the work prior to filing suit for copyright infringement.   I believe there are procedures for expediting registration when there is infringement.  In a few jurisdicitions it might be sufficient to apply for registration.
 
You don't have to wait for registration to use out of court remedies.
« Last Edit: Dec 10th, 2007, 4:25pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
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