Monday, February 21, 2005

Copyrights, trademarks, patents and headaches

Just finished a conversation with an attorney who specializes in copyrights, trademark registrations, patents and such. My agent referred me to him concerning a 2006 calendar I am developing for Shades of Color. I have developed two creative properties (fancy term referring to my cartoons) to be used on the calendar. Do I need copyrights, trademark registrations, patents or what? This is a little different than books where my publisher handles copyright registration. Lawyers — thank GOD, we need 'em — but they make my head spin.

My agent says that we probably won't make much money on these calendars as compared to the bed and bath collection. It'll be an avenue for getting the designs high public visibility. Who knows where this will lead, but I'm betting on a cartoon TV series. While the copyright procedure is simple, about $25.00 per design, getting each trademark registered with the government is going to cost more than I will likely make in profits, $850.00 per trademark. I have two trademarks to register. I won't be going this route.

I did learn the importance of including a copyright on the images I create. I almost never do this. I assumed that once the company received the art, and the product itself was copyrighted with my name printed on it, I'd be covered. Possibly, but it's safer, according to this lawyer, to include this information as part of the art, particularly if the art is speculative and you are attempting to sell a design that hasn't be used yet.

Also learned that while the name of my bed and bath collection (enter your zip code)is Kidz, it would have better served me to give the collection a name like Don Tate's Kidz Collection or Tate'z Kidz.

Legal stuff, BLECH!

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Unrelated thought for the day: How come some days Flash just plain won't work like the directions say?

1 comment:

The Archivist said...

Legal stuff is entirely too complex. Most I understand is that the big print giveth and the small print taketh.