Copyright & Trademarks

Before you Get Started

A copyright is a property right granted by federal statute for an original work of authorship, fixed in a tangible form of expression.

For most works, the author typically owns the copyright. See Copyright: Who Owns What? for exceptions and more information.

The Basics

  • Books, poems, essays, music, pictorial works, movies and software are copyrightable;
  • Works can be purely digital (webpage design, web graphics);
  • Names, titles, short phrases, and slogans are not copyrightable;
  • You are not required to do anything for copyright protection; it is automatic;
  • You can, however, register your work with the government's Copyright Office;
  • Registering within 3 months of creation helps you gain statutory damages if you choose to sue for infringement; and
  • Works do not need the copyright symbol ©, but it is a good idea to use it. 

Get Started

UCLA TDG can help with:

  • Licensing questions
  • Commercialization opportunities
  • Open source license selection and questions
  • Copyright education
  • General copyright questions
  • Determining copyright ownership 

More Info/Resources

UCLA Technology Development Group

  • 10889 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 920
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095-7191
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