Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: Hi! I´m an illustrator and i wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark my name and copyright my work or is it not?

I have heard that the copyright is automatic when I create my work and I would be using my name but I wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark it and copyright my work to have any protection or if it is enough to creeate it and use the symbol on the work without paying. Thanks

1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • los angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: By law, a Common Law copyright is created the moment you put your work into tangible form (i.e. once you create an actual work, beyond just the idea in your head). If you have a copyrighted work, you are authorized to sue for damages if someone uses that work without authorization, however with common law copyright, you must show actual damages in a lawsuit in order to actually get money, whereas, registering your copyrighted work with the US Copyright office entitles you to claim statutory damages per infringement, without the need to prove that you suffered actual monetary damages -- in other words, it's always a good idea to register your work with the Copyright office.

As for your symbol/logo, that's also advisable to register for trademark so you can create brand recognition and no one tries to pas their work off as yours.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.