Copyrights – Show me the money! Don’t screw this up! (1) You must register a claim of copyright to enforce it. (2) Your claim must pre-date the infringement if you want statutory damages or attorney fees. By James Michael Faier, M.P.P., M.B.A., J.D. Registered Patent Attorney 56,731.
Copyright done right. Copyright is a cost effective part of every company’s IP protection. Here are important rules to remember. Copyright is not automatic in a legal sense. If you do not register your claim of copyright, then you cannot enforce a claim of copyright. Time and time again I get calls from businesspeople claiming copyright injury. Time and time again I ask for their copyright registration numbers and they say they have not done registrations. While you can file a registration after an infringement has begun, the bottom line is that you have given up your right to statutory damages and attorney fees. Most businesspeople do not want to embark on copyright litigation where there is no chance of an award of statutory damages or attorney fees. That is a wise move in most instances because the threat of those costs is what drives most defendants to an early settlement.