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Da Vinci Partners LLC is a Swiss-based international intellectual property firm applying expertise in global patent, trademark and copyright law to help the Da Vincis of the World: the individual inventors, startups, and tech companies of all sizes, succeed in the often complex process of developing and launching ingenious solutions to their customers' problems. Da Vinci Partners, partners to global innovators. Request a free cost estimate for any number of our services
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The Copyright Registration Process

As discussed above, copyright protection is automatic. Nothing need be filed with the Copyright Office in order for the copyright owner to benefit from the minimum protections provided by the copyright laws. However, in order to fully benefit, the copyrighted work should be registered.

Copyright registration is a legal formality whose purpose is to provide a means by which the public can inspect the work in order to determine the scope of the author's copyright claim. Registration is not a prerequisite to copyright protection, with one exception. In most cases, a copyright must be registered before the author may bring suit to enforce his copyright. The author may register his work anytime prior to filing suit. There are specific advantages, however, of prompt registration:

  1. registration provides a way to resolve disputes concerning the authorship or date of creation of a work.
  2. when the copyright is registered before publication of the work or within five years of the first publication, registration constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity and ownership of the copyright, and the facts stated in the copyright certificate; and
  3. when the copyright is registered even more promptly (i.e., within three months after first publication of the work), the copyright owner may elect statutory damages. Statutory damages are particular damages, the amount of which is set by the copyright laws. This is important in cases where any one infringement causes little monetary damage to the copyright owner, because statutory damages set minimums for monetary recovery (even when there is no proof of actual damage or loss). Statutory damages provide for the recovery of attorney's fees as well.

If the work is not registered within three months from first publication, the only remedies available are (1) an injunction against further infringement; (2) the recovery of profits from the infringer; and (3) other provable damages. However, if registration is made before the infringement, then statutory damages are available.

One registration of the copyright is sufficient. It is permissible (although not necessary) to register again after publication.



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