Copyrights

Howard & Howard understands the value of creative works of art and authorship

Our IP attorneys know how to preserve and enhance the value of these works that are protected by copyright. Copyrights affect our daily lives in an unlimited number of ways, and copyright issues exist in numerous everyday transactions. These issues arise in marketing, branding, advertising, business and personal matters and our highly-skilled attorneys can review your needs and provide protection in simple and complex situations.

Copyrights protect "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works (like computer software), both published and unpublished, that are fixed in a tangible medium. Copyrights protect the fixed expression of an idea or fact, but do not protect the underlying ideas, procedures, methods of doing business, concepts or discoveries, etc.

The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to:

  • Reproduce the copyrighted work;
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
  • Distribute copies of the copyrighted work for sale, transfer, rental or lending;
  • Perform the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, motion pictures and other audiovisual works; and
  • Display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works.

Howard & Howard understands that global access to information has increased with the Internet and our attorneys efficiently navigate the difficulties of enforcing copyrights around the world. Today, all copyrighted works, and/or unauthorized derivative works, can be put into digital format and, in turn, transmitted instantaneously across the world—with or without the copyright holder’s permission. Protecting copyrights is especially challenging on a global level because current copyright laws vary widely from country to country. Even though copyright problems continue to grow in step with technological developments, our legal team can address infringing activity across the globe to stop the unauthorized use of protected works. Our firm has forged long standing relationships with some of the premier IP attorneys across the world to protect copyrights in the best method available in each country.

Howard & Howard's attorneys have obtained copyright registrations and enforced copyright protections in a variety of fields including photography, music, video, software, multimedia, artwork, graphic design, e commerce, cartoon characters, toys and games. In addition to counseling clients regarding the ownership, registration, licensing, policing and enforcement of their copyright rights, our IP attorneys regularly litigate copyright issues. Our copyright litigation team is highly skilled in enforcing copyright rights for artists, composers, photographers and entertainers. Our team also advises clients on the development of a complete intellectual property strategy including the use of copyrights to enhance intellectual property rights under patent and trademark law, providing a more complete protection strategy for our clients’ products and services around the world.

Copyright Services

Howard & Howard's IP attorneys handle a broad spectrum of copyright issues on a worldwide basis and offer services including:

  • Obtaining U.S. copyright registrations—including complex or difficult registration in the United States or registration on an expedited basis in contemplation of litigation;
  • Obtaining copyright registration in any country—including difficult registrations;
  • Advising on development, ownership, licensing, distribution and infringement issues;
  • Drafting license agreements, assignments, and work for hire contracts;
  • Counseling on literary, personal and syndication rights;
  • Advising on fair use;
  • Advising on matters of advertising and media or Internet content;
  • Litigating copyright issues;
  • Protecting copyright matters against infringing imports;
  • Initiating seizures of infringing materials;
  • Enforcing copyright rights internationally, including claims under the Universal Copyright Convention and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works; and
  • Counseling on copyright issues that enforce branding and trademark rights.

We're Proud of the Work We've Done on Behalf of Our Clients

  • Received numerous injunctions on behalf of artists and composers to stop unauthorized public performance of copyrighted musical works.
  • Obtained swift permanent injunction on behalf of photograph owner to preclude use of photographs by a competitor on the Internet.
  • Enforced copyright rights of photographers regarding celebrity photographs.
  • Obtained registration of copyright on computer software, musical compositions, screen plays, advertising, sculptures, industrial designs, graphic art, artistic logos and other creative works.
  • Litigated infringement issues related to software, database and Internet issues.
  • Negotiated numerous agreements related to computer software, databases, Internet materials and other matters.

Copyright Team: