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For new clients, a legal assistant or other staff member in our firm will intake your case information. If additional information is required to determine if we can assist you with your case, we may offer a free consultation by an attorney to gather more information. A free consultation typically does not include legal advice, is offered only in our sole and absolute discretion, and does not mean that you have retained our firm as legal counsel. Only a written document provided to you by our firm describing our representation and executed by a managing attorney at our firm will establish an agreement by our firm to provide you legal services.

United States Copyright Registration Process

The 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 Protection

However, 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.

Contact a Copyright Lawyer at McClanahan Powers for a Free Initial Consultation

To receive world-class service for your legal matter, call a Copyright Attorney at McClanahan Powers toll free at 703-520-1326. Or, to send an e-mail, please complete and submit the online form on this website. Flexible appointment times and payment options are available.