Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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A copyright protects an Original Work of Authorship (OWA) — think short story, computer program, or song lyrics, for example — which must have tangible form, be a result of significant mental activity, have no inherent technical function, and be the author’s original creation. Here’s the skinny on copyrights:

  • As soon as you create an OWA, you automatically have a copyright, which prevents others from copying, publishing, or performing your work.

  • Make sure that you own the OWA. In other words, you didn’t produce it as an employee, or as a work made for hire.

  • You can register your copyright, which makes prosecuting copycats easier.

  • When you register your copyright, mark your work as a copyrighted work to discourage infringers and give yourself legal advantages.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Henri Charmasson is an attorney with a 35-year career in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. He has been a naming adviser to major corporations. Henri is also an inventor with his name on 15 U.S. patents and an entrepreneur who sits on the board of several small business corporations. In his early engineering career, Henri designed computer hardware. Henri has authored several articles and delivered lectures on patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret topics, and written an authoritative treatise about the art of naming companies and branding new products. Born, raised, and educated in sunny Provence, France, he’s found in California the ideal place to exert his enterprising spirit.

John Buchaca, also an Intellectual Property law attorney, is a former software engineer and occasional inventor, and has worked with Henri for more than 15 years. Indeed, when Henri wrote the first edition of this book, John regarded himself as the “first dummy.” Before becoming a lawyer, he worked in ocean acoustics analysis and modeling and computer programming. His undergraduate degree is in applied mathematics. But his highest claim to fame (according to Henri) is to be married to Henri’s daughter and to be the father of two of Henri’s grandchildren. He lives in San Diego, California where he is a partner at Charmasson, Buchaca & Leach, LLP, an IP law firm.

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