AND MORE FAQs. . .
WEEK IN IP HISTORY
August 10, 1909 ®
FORD trademark for "explosive-engines and their parts" registered
in 1909...[insert Pinto reference here]
August 10, 1920 ®
VERMONT MAID trademark for blended cane and maple table syrup registered...mmmm...Vermont
August 11, 1942 Hedy Markey receieved a patent for a secret communication
system in 1942...ssshhh, it's a secret!
August 13, 1890 ©
Publisher registers an edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet
Letter" in 1890...the scarlet letter was last seen attached to
a Los Angeles Lakers jersey, number 8.
August 14, 1889 ©
"The Washington Post March" by John Phillip Sousa is registered
in 1889...and The Washington Post has been a pillar of journalistic
integrity ever since.
August 15, 1989 ©
President George Bush issues a proclamation commemorating the bicentennial
anniversary of the 1st patent and copyright laws in 1989...probably
the last time a Bush made a proclamation of any kind.
August 16, 1949 Patent #2,478,967 granted to Leonard Greene of Mineola,
NY in 1949 for an "airplane stall warning device"...so, where's
the turbulence warning device?!?
August 17, 1993 Patent #5,236,208 issued in 1993 to Thomas Welsh for
a platform steerable skateboard...now if only they can outfit one with
Since ancient times, the right to control copying of authored materials
Under Roman law, the right to control use of an authored work was determined
by ownership of the work itself.
". . .and therefore if Titus has written a poem, a history or an oration,
on your paper or parchment, you and not Titus are the owner of the written
paper." The Institute, Book 2, Title 1, sections 33 and 34
Under Roman law, the owner of the paper had superior rights to even
the person making up the words or drawings. Fortunately, for most artists
and authors outside of the "Hollywood" system, Roman law no longer controls.
THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Until the invention of the printing press in the middle ages, in order
to copy a work, the text had to be recopied by hand. Such arduous work
prevented large scale copying. Long before the Internet, the printing
press brought on many new challenges for the copyright owner.
The first known copyright was granted in Venice, Italy on September
After alleged "infringements" the first English (U.K.) copyright laws
were enacted by Queen Anne who extended letters to favored publishers
which granted them a monopoly over the reproduction of certain works.
Even our own founding fathers recognized the importance of copyright.
U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 grants to authors and inventors
the right for a limited time to have exclusive rights to exploit their
creations. No doubt author, inventor and Federalist, Thomas Jefferson
who served in the Copyright Office had a significant impact in ensuring
the first United States Copyright Act in 1790. 1 Stat. 124 1st Congress
2nd Sess., c.15.
Forget Guggenheim, in the digital age, one "cut and paste" copy of a
popular text, .jpeg photo or MP3 music title can reproduce online faster
than tribbles on the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Effective protection against infringement requires action in an "INTERNET
MINUTE" (about 59 seconds less than a "New York minute").
DON'T DELAY - GET IMPACT
Take swift action against cybersquatting, Meta Tagging and good-old-fashioned
GET THE A&S ADVANTAGE!
SUBJECT MATTERS COVERED --
REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHT
NOW - ONLY $249.
DO I NEED ANOTHER APPLICATION?
We often receive questions about the extent and degree of protection
of multiple works under a single Copyright application. Sometimes these
inquiries are made by textile manufacturers seeking in a single application,
to register a catalog of works (by a single artist or making up a particular
line, style or theme, e.g., "the fall collection").
Sometimes, the creative Artist herself seeks to register and protect
under one Copyright application, an entire book of drawings (whether
cartoons, caricatures, landscapes, or patterns, etc.).
Other times, we hear from website designers or book publishers seeking
to register in a single application, all photographs, graphics and text
on a particular website or publication.
While we do indeed encourage our Artist and Designer clients to take
such an important step toward obtaining strong copyright protection
for their work, AS A GENERAL RULE THE MORE LIMITED THE CONTENTS OF AN
APPLICATION, THE STRONGER THE PROTECTION.
For this reason, we advise our clients to seek independent registrations
of each separate work wherever possible.
Cartoons: We have advised clients that even within a single work, there
may exist more than one independently copyrightable element. (e.g.,
each of the characters in a particular cartoon feature - Bart, Homer
Lisa . . . or Mickey, Donald and Goofy).
If a cartoonist was to bring legal action against an alleged copyright
infringer who had not reproduced the original drawings but rather had
"borrowed" a single element (e.g., a lesser known chararacter, e.g.,
Flanders, Principal Skinner . . . or "Sneezy") and had incorporated
the character into another original setting and plot (a derivative work)
the cartoonist would have a significantly better chance of
obtaining an injunction and recovery of damages if the character were
independently registered (e.g., in a "style guide" - showing the
character in different poses) rather than being featured only in two
frames in a less than prominent portion of the work.
With Internet copying being as easy as it is, it stands to reason that
the difference between "irreparable harm" and "deminimus" (mere nuisance)
copying might in some cases depend on whether an infringer took all
of the copyrighted material from a website, rather than only one small
portion of it.
In the era of song sampling (where an artist only takes a few notes
or words from a popular song), there have been cases where Courts have
ruled that the copying, though potentially actionable, (for compulsory
license purposes) does not rise to the level of a wholesale infringement
to warrant an injunction, statutory damages for wilfulness and attorneys
In any case, a savvy website designer, who had independently registered
every single photo (or underlying artistic material) from an online
catalog, would have much better chances against an internet pirate than
would the site designer who had sought protection for his entire website
a single application.
Therefore, a copyrighted photo is better than a copyrighted catalog
of photos. A copyrighted drawing stronger than a book of drawings. Similarly,
plagiarism of only one small portion of text is much less actionable
than wholesale copying of an entire novel. With that in mind, you can
seek copyright protection for your entire work as a "compilation", or
better still, for any portion which is likely to be infringed.
We encourage our author and artist clients to seek strong and independent
protection for each of their works and for any components included within
such works. For this reason, we offer a substantial discount for volume
or bulk filings.
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ANDERSON & ASSOCIATES
e-mail our crew
Telephone - (951) 719-1371