Texans who want protection for their intellectual property need to understand the framework of the laws that govern how people guard their ideas. When someone copyrights their work, there are a number of things that can be protected. Copyrights usually apply to things such as literary works and music. A copyright is different than a patent, which covers inventions and other products.

A copyright gives the owner the right to control the sale and distribution of their copyrighted work. They also have the exclusive right to produce derivative works. They have the sole right to perform or display the work. If anyone infringes on their copyright, they have the ability to take legal action and may even receive damages.

Many people make the mistake of overestimating what a copyright can cover. For example, intangible things such as stories or ideas are not covered by copyright laws. What copyright covers is the expression of the idea as opposed to the idea itself. Moreover, company names and logos are not covered by copyrights but instead are protected through the use of trademarks. Copyrights offer long-lasting protection that is valid for 70 years after an author’s death. In other words, a creator who wants to prevent someone else from profiting off their work and creativity should register their copyright.

Registration of a copyright is the first step toward protection. Without it, one does not have the right to sue someone for infringement. If a person has registered a copyright and someone else is trying to use their work, they may want to contact a business litigation attorney to learn more about how to enforce their rights. This may involve litigation against the infringing party or other attempts outside of the court to get them to stop using the work without permission or paying for the right.