United States Copyright Registration ProcessThe registration fees for a U.S. copyright range from $35 for a basic claim to over $1,000 depending on the sophistication of the claim(s) and other factors. Processing times for the Copyright Office to process your claim currently range between 3 (e-file) and 10 months (special forms and/or paper filing). It is important to consult a copyright attorney regarding copyright registration as self-filing may impact the accuracy of the filing and processing time, lead to possible infringement claims, and result in other privacy and general protection concerns.
Registering a copyright in order to be afforded protection is not specifically required. There are, however, several benefits that include providing the world with constructive notice of the work of authorship, full financial benefit of the work and location of reference. A copyrighted work, however, will be made public record. This can be beneficial because it puts potential infringers on constructive notice of your copyrighted material. Furthermore, in order to bring an infringement claim of a copyright against another party to be litigated in the United States, the copyright must be filed with the United States Copyright Office, a service unit of the Library of Congress.
Registering a Copyright versus Trade Secret ProtectionHowever, registering a copyright is not always the best course of action. For example, if the idea behind your work is more valuable than the actual written material or software code, it may be better to not publicly register the work and rather seek protection under Trade Secret laws. It is important to consult an experienced intellectual property attorney who will be able to guide and instruct you on the most secure and beneficial strategies for protecting your property.
- Copyright Infringement
- Copyright Assignment, Licensing, and Royalties
- Intellectual Property