Copyright registration in the USA

As in Ukraine, the USA legislation provides for copyright protection for any work from the moment of its creation. The copyright registration procedure is voluntary. However, the USA legislation actively stimulates and encourages the copyright registration process.

The object of intellectual property must have an original nature and be fixed in a material form that makes it possible to perceive it

Benefits of copyright registration in the USA:

  • registration with the Customs Service prevents the export of unlicensed copies of a work abroad;
  • the right to file a claim for copyright arises only after its official registration (however, this provision does not apply to works published outside the USA);
  • possibility to establish the territorial jurisdiction of the case on copyright protection;
  • the right to claim reimbursement of up to $ 150,000, including legal costs, because if the copyright has not been registered, the court is limited to reimbursement only of actually proven damages.

Copyright registration and registry maintenance are carried out by the United States Copyright Office under the Library of Congress. The list of works that can be registered in the USA is extensive, but not exhaustive.

Thus, the copyright objects subject to registration in the USAs include:

  • works of fine art: photos, selfies, drawings, paintings, jewelry, etc.;
  • literaryworks: stories, articles, poetry, etc.;
  • performingarts: music, performances, dances, etc.;
  • movies: TVshows, commercials, audiovisualworks, etc.;
  • digital content: computer programs, websites, blogs, etc.

The registration procedure is relatively simple and low-cost. So, in order to apply for registration, the author must:

  • fill out and submit an application in the established form;
  • pay the fee;
  • prepare a work copy;

During the registration procedure, the application is checked for the compliance with the established requirements and the work belonging to objects that are protected by copyright. For example, words and short phrases cannot be registered in the form of slogans, given names, names, well-known symbols or the usual list of ingredients, since the creativity in such works is not sufficiently expressed.

In the case of a positive decision on a work registration, the United States Copyright Office under the Library of Congress issues the registration certificate.

The average duration of the procedure is 9 months. In addition, both electronic submission of the application and the application submission by mail are provided. Online registration is faster, more convenient and cheaper, but some types of copyrights can be registered only when submitted in “paper form”. For example, group automatic database update.

Nevertheless, in order to have confidence in a successful result, you should seek qualitative legal support. The professional lawyers and attorneys of law firm VigoLexwill select the optimal scheme for the protection and registration of copyrights not only in the USA territory, but also in many other foreign states.

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