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Here is the knowledge base for all the automated registrations available on Circle That R. Get the support you need.

Am I using my trademark yet?

In the United States, you can only have a trademark registration if you’re actually using the trademark in commerce. This is not to say that you can’t go ahead and apply for a trademark registration before you actually start using the trademark, but if you...

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trademarks

Authorship

Okay, this one is a bit tricky so please read this slowly.

In most situations, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The most common exception is if it is a “work made for hire”. In this situation, the employer or the party...

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Do I have a trademark or a service mark?

The term “trademark” is somewhat of a catchall term that can mean a mark used in association with the promotion of goods (a trademark) or a mark used in association with the promotion of service (a service mark). To tell you the truth, whether a mark is a...

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trademarks

Has the product been published?

Publication happens when you give, sell or otherwise provide copies of a work to others. Also, if you even offered to distribute copies to group of persons or company for further distribution, public performance or public display, that is also published. Here is a tricky...

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How do I determine my dates of use?

A trademark application for a trademark that’s “in commerce” requires that we give the government two dates — the first date that you used the mark “anywhere” and the first date that you used the mark “in commerce.” These two...

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trademarks

Ideas and concepts

So, you have just come up with a great idea for a novel, can you protect it with a copyright. Nope. What about a recipe for a cake? Nope. You cannot copyright an idea. Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act specifically states: “In no case does copyright protection for an...

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copyrights

Is my trademark a color mark?

We’re not talking about a logo here that includes a certain color or colors. Rather, we’re talking about just a color. An example of a color mark might be the color brown in association with UPS or that special, robin’s egg blue that’s so famously...

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trademarks

Is work anonymous?

If you do not want the world to know who the author of this product is, you can select to file it anonymosly.

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copyrights

Is work pseudonymous?

If you want to file this work under a pseudonym rather than your actual name, you can do so by selecting YES and then entering the pseudonym when prompted.

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copyrights

Items and Tools

Items and tools are not things that can typically be protected by copyright protection unless they include a literary, pictorial, or musical expression. For example, you cannot copyright a new design for a spoon. But, if that spoon does include some artistic work, such as...

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copyrights

Let's identify the owner(s)

Please identify all known copyright owners in this work. The author may always be named as a owner, even if the author has transferred rights in the work to another person or entity. The owner may also be a person or entity that has obtained ownership of the copyright in...

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copyrights

Product Origin

Sometimes authors create works that are based on or use items that were created by someone else. Andy Warhol is famous for this. For example, he may paint over a photograph that someone else took. In this scenario, the product would be based on, or is a modification of...

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copyrights

Product Origin - Does your product have an international publication number

THis is a number that is assigned to the work if you have already registered it using one of the many international techniques. Generally, if you have done this you would know about it. If your product is a modification of another product, you only need to worry about the...

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copyrights

Section 15

You may have the option of filing a Section 15 Declaration. Filing this document will make your registration “incontestable” - which actually means that it makes it really hard to challenge. You do not have to file a Section 15 Declaration but we strongly...

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trademarks

Should I register my logo in color or is black/white better?

You can register your logo with, or without, any claim to the colors in the logo. That is, you can register a black and white version of the logo. Generally speaking, unless there’s something about the color(s) in your logo that are particularly distinctive and...

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trademarks

Slogans and short phrases

If you have a slogan, logo, name, title, etc. you may want to protect it. It CAN be protected but copyright is not the correct tool to use. Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. To protect these items, what you want to do is file a...

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copyrights

Something you did not create

This can be a bit tricky. Suppose you are relaxing on a beach and a bottle floats up to your chair. You open the bottle and pull out a piece of paper that contains the most beautiful poem you have ever read. You are sitting there with tears streaming down your face and...

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copyrights

Titles and names

If you have a slogan, logo, name, title, etc. you may want to protect it. It CAN be protected but copyright is not the correct tool to use. Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. To protect these items, what you want to do is file a Learn more

copyrights

Was this product created for an organization under a contract?

Examples would include: (1) an employment agreement if this product was creted by an employee of a company (2) a contract to produce a website that says the product is a “work made for hire”

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copyrights

What is a blank form?

Blank forms cannot be protected by copyright. The reason for this is that a blank form is designed to record information rather than to convey information. To be protected by copyright, a work must contain a minimum amount of original literary, pictorial, or musical...

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copyrights

What is trademark usage?

You have to show the USPTO that you’re using the trademark. We call this a specimen of use. What makes for a good specimen of use differs a little bit depending on whether your mark is used in connection with goods or services.

For GOODS:

If your...

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trademarks

What kind of trademark do I have?

Your trademark may actually fall into more than one type category. For example, it is very common for a logo to incorporate both words and designs. In such a case, the logo may function as both a “design” mark and a “word” mark. You could pursue...

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trademarks

What qualifies as a GROUP OF PHOTOGRAPHS?

The Group of PHotographs is a great option if you have a group of photographs that you want to register. Especially if you have a large group of photographs because there will only be one fee associated with the filing rather than a fee for each filing. But, to qualify,...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a GROUP OF WORKS?

The Group Registration is a great option but, it can only be used in a limited number of situations. You can use this category if you are trying to register a copyright for:

  • A group of issues from the same serial publication
  • A group of issues from...

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What qualifies as a LITERARY WORK?

Literary works are products that are intended to be read. Literary works are NOT products that are indended to be performed, such as a play, a song and a movie. Although a literary work may include illustrations, such as drawings and pictures, a drawing and picture alone...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a MOTION PICTURE?

MOTION PICTURES are works that contain a series of related images that are intended to be shown with a projector, digital display, or other device. When the images are shown in successive order, they create an impression of movement that is perceptible to the eye. Examples...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a PERFORMING ARTS work?

Performing arts works are just what you would expect – something that is intended to be performed for an audience. This category includes a wide variety of creative works, including music, lyrics, sound recordings, scripts, screenplays, choreography, motion pictures, video...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a PHOTOGRAPH?

If right before you created this product, you said “say cheese”, then your product may be a photograph. The PHOTOGRAPH category is used for photographs that are created with a camera and captured in a digital file or other visual medium such as film. Examples...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a SINGLE SERIAL ISSUE?

This is a special category that makes it easier to register several individual works at once. But, you have to satisfy a few requirements to quality for this type of registration.

A Single Serial Issue an individual issue of a product that is published serially. ...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a SOUND RECORDING?

When you make a recording of your product, it may qualify as a sound recording. Now, if you are wanting to protect the music and/or lyrics of a song that is contained in a sound recording, this is really a Performing Arts work. But if you are wanting to protect just the...

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copyrights

What qualifies as a VISUAL ARTS work?

Your product may be a visual art if it is a pictorial, graphic, and/or sculpture, as well as architectural works. Examples of visual arts works include paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other types of works.

  • Advertisements (visual /...

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What qualifies as OTHER DIGITAL CONTENT?

This category is actually not a category by itself, usually. We use this category for two different types of products:

  1. Products that are used with computing devices
  2. Mask works for computer chips or circuits

(1) Products that are used...

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copyrights

What should I list for my goods/services?

You should give a comprehensive list here, but understand that different goods and services are categorized by the USPTO into different classes and, for each class represented in an application here, there will be another government filing fee. To be clear, if all the goods...

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trademarks

WHAT YEAR WAS THE PRODUCT COMPLETED?

Completed means that the product has been created and is finished. It does not mean that you cannot modify it in the future, but for now, if the product is finished, you need to enter the year the it was completed. You do not need the date, just the year.

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copyrights

Who is the Author?

Usually, the author is the person or persons that created the work. There can be more than one author and you should include the information for each author.

However, if you selected that this was created as part of your employment or if someone hired you to create...

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copyrights

Who should I list as owning my trademark?

You can own a trademark as an individual, but you can also own it as a corporate entity. Generally speaking, if you have a corporation formed then you’ll probably want the corporation, as opposed to you as an individual, to actually own the trademark. But, if you...

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trademarks

Why should I search my trademark?

It’s always a good idea not to borrow trouble. If a trademark search unearths a prior trademark registration that would likely prevent you from getting your own registration, then you can go back to the drawing board and come up with a new trademark while it’s...

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trademarks

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