How to Keep Your Copyright and Trademark Safe from Copycats

How to Keep Your Copyright and Trademark Safe from Copycats

How to keep your copyright and trademark safe from copycats

You’ve worked hard to create your content, build your brand, generate revenue, and make a name for yourself.  The last thing you need is someone copying all your hard work and passing it off as their own.  In this blog we’ll share a few ideas on how to keep your copyright and trademark protected from unwanted content thieves.

Preventative tips

  1. Registration

It’s not absolutely necessary to register your trademark and/or copyright.  An enforceable copyright over an original work comes into existence the moment the work is created.  Similarly, a trademark is created and enforceable the moment you start using it to market your business. That said, registering your trademark and copyright is one of the most sure ways to enforce and protect your content.  A registered trademark or copyright will provide much stronger evidence when there’s a dispute over ownership.

Before registering your trademark or copyright it’s important to first research the market to ensure your mark isn’t already registered and in use.  Whilst it’s hard to believe your brilliant design could ever have been thought of before, it’s important to make 100% sure it’s as unique as you believe it to be.

Keep in mind every country or state has a different regulatory body that you can register your trademark and/or copyright with.  Be sure to comply with the rules and special requirements of the jurisdiction in which you wish to register your trademark and/or copyright.

  1. Mark your work

Use a watermark or distinct signature on your work to indicate that it belongs to you. A watermark, signature, or other distinguishing feature will alert others that the specific work or content has an owner, and should cause copycats to think twice before trying to pass-off your content as their own.

A watermark could be something as simple as a name, specific logo, or even a nondescript image hidden in the work. Whatever you use, it’s most important that your mark be a clear identifier of ownership.

  1. Keep evidence of process

An idea is usually an evolutionary process.  Keeping evidence of first drafts, rough sketches, recordings, or other early stage creations will help strengthen any claim over an original piece of work.  Evolutionary evidence is a fairly good means to demonstrate that work was created over a period of time. Sure, it’s possible to fake evidence of early stage idea creation, but to do so is time consuming and requires much effort from the copycats of this world.

  1. Use a badge

A badge is a simple and effective way to both deter content thieves and to track when your content has been stolen. This is why PhishFort has developed the PhishFort DMCA Badge to protect your digital content from unauthorised copycats.

Sites that make use of our PhishFort Badge will be monitored by PhishFort. Our detection system will detect and notify our analysts when the Badge is found somewhere it shouldn’t be, allowing you to investigate and respond to the incident - limiting any damage that may be caused to your brand, customers, and revenue.

You can find out more about the PhishFort Badge on our website.

My work’s been copied - now what?

You’ve tried your best, but some sneaky copycats still stole your content?

PhishFort can assist in having the infringing content removed from the internet. You could either follow our self-help guide to remove the content yourself, or we can do the work for you! Just fill in our online form and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

*PhishFort is not a law firm and does not purport to offer legal advice of any kind. The content in this article is for information purposes only. Please seek legal counsel if you are uncertain about protecting and enforcing any trademarks and/or copyrights relating to you*

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