Say I want to start a photography business with a unique name. What's the difference of a trademark vs. a registered trademark for my small business?
Trademark vs. Registered Trademark for Company Name
Posted 25 December 2013 - 06:03 AM
It upto a certain extent depends on the place where you will be starting your business as laws change by fractions in different countries.
the above link is a precise summary of different types of copyrighting symbols.
trademark isn't applicable for photographs, you can use copyright symbol or you can go for the registered process.
Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:19 AM
A trademark can protect a name or slogan. A service mark can protect services (instead of products, for example Geek Squad). You can also have a trade dress which is protected, and while this would be difficult to achieve in photography, if you have a unique specific type of design for something like a watermark you can have that protected.
For your name to be trademarked it has to be used in commerce, and it's more protectable if it's novel and completely unheard of before. If you choose a mark that's suggestive or descriptive (Windex for Window cleaning is suggestive, NFL for the National Football League is descriptive, and descriptive marks can only be protected if the general public thinks "National Football League" when they hear NFL.)
If you register your trademark with the federal government, you can use the R with the circle, otherwise you can only use the TM symbol.
For Copyright, you can copyright any original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. The moment you snap a photo, you own its copyright. It'll last for the rest of your life and 70 years after your death.
If you file your copyright with the federal government before an infringement takes place, you get better remedies in court - the infringing party will have to pay your legal expenses, and you'll get statutory damages (and an injunction against the infringing work). Otherwise, you'll still win in court and you'll be able to get actual damages and an injunction against the infringing work, but you'll have yo pay your own legal fees.