The U.S. Supreme Court recently made a significant ruling in the areas of intellectual property law when it recently clarified the copyright laws. With contradictory rulings on the books in the Circuit Courts, the high court unanimously ruled that copyright infringement cases can only move forward when the copyright is registered with the United State Copyright Office.
Different rulings in different courts
The previous rulings in some of the Circuit Courts deemed that copyright protection could start as early as the date when the completed application was submitted to the Copyright Office. Other courts ruled the protection only began after the Copyright Office issued the Certificate of Registration. Some courts even allowed lawsuits to proceed if they submitted an application that was rejected by the Copyright Office.
What does this mean?
The short answer to this question is that those concerned about protecting their images, software design, graphics, or original content will need to register it with the Copyright Office. It will likely be too late if someone determines that there is infringement yet does not have a Certificate of Registration.
IP attorneys can help
A knowledgeable intellectual property attorney with experience handling copyright registration, litigation and related issues will be a tremendous asset. Depending upon the needs of the owner or creator, these legal professionals with copyright registration or set up an ongoing system where the application process begins with each new original creation. Under this ruling, registration is the surest and most timely way to protect one’s creations from infringement.