All posts by Kudjo

Protect Your Assets

Every creative artistic endeavor that you bring into fruition is your Intellectual Property; your asset, a real-world creation of value.   If you wish to monazite or capitalized (make money) on it or simply share it with the world to enjoy or take part of free of charge is of course totally up to you.  The point here however is that you recognize and understand that once you bring anything from your the “Subjective” Realm of your intuitive creative being into the “OBJECTive” world of this physical plain of existence it becomes a tangible asset of real value (like your Ineligible Rights) which belongs to you and you alone until such time that you either sell or give it away to another to own and control.

Every thing you create YOUR Intellectual Property which can be protected and monazites in a number of ways.  Two examples would be Trademarking your assets or Registering your copyrights Copyrights for same; which are extremely different from one another in their application, value and protections.  Although different, both are extremely important just as would be Ownership of “YOUR” PUBLISHING RIGHTS (of which your tangible assets derive powers on minimization or ability to be Capitalized upon) !

A sure sign that you are in the wrong camp would be hearing from anyone who is supposed to have your best interest at heart say something similar to ” Oh, don’t worry about that stuff.  We’ll take care of all of that for you” .  Just like signing your own checks, it’s ALWAYS of paramount importance that you know about your own affairs.

No we’re not saying you need to be a legal expert by any means, we’re simply suggesting that it is always wise to understand at a minimum a little bit more than simply the basics when it comes to your business affairs.  And you can bet that The Music , Entertainment  and other Artistic Media Industries are certainly no exception to that rule by any means!

Trademark Reg. Symbol

Trademarks are another matter !  Obtaining a Trademark (like the above icon owned by the Company DigiiPraise an on-line Gospel Music Development Entity)  would be an example of a “Trademark” which is a much more complicated process then obtaining a Copyright Registration or notices.  Trademark Registrations (unlike Copyrights) are Bestowed to applicants following a governmental review and evaluation process by an entity like The USPTO (United Stated Patent & Trademark Office.

Again:  Please note that because information and links below have been designed to take you to further valuable resources which may reside elsewhere other then DigiPraise, you should BOOKMARK This Page and Sight “ for your ease in returning here or to our home page location.



What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.


What is a service mark?

A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.


What is a patent?

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. For more information, click here.


What is a copyright?

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. For more information, contact the U.S. Copyright Office (a division of the Library of Congress).


What is a certification mark?

A certification mark is any word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof owned by one party who certifies the goods and services of others when they meet certain standards. The owner of the mark exercises control over the use of the mark; however, because the sole purpose of a certification mark is to indicate that certain standards have been met, use of the mark is by others.


What is a collective membership mark?

A collective membership mark is any word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof which indicates that the user of the mark is a member of a particular organization. The owner of the mark exercises control over the use of the mark; however, because the sole purpose of a membership mark is to indicate membership, use of the mark is by members.


What is a collective mark?

A collective mark is any word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof owned by a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization and used by its members to indicate the source of the goods or services.


Where can I get basic trademark information?

For information about applying for a trademark, click Basic Facts About Trademarks, and view the trademark videosthat cover important topics and critical application filing tips. To understand what to expect in the overall process, view the timelines for trademark processing. If you still have questions, contact the Trademark Assistance Center at 1-800-786-9199.


Must I register my trademark?

No. You can establish rights in a mark based on use of the mark in commerce, without a registration. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several important benefits.


What are the benefits of federal trademark registration?

Owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, including:

  • Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark;
  • A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration;
  • The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
  • The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries;
  • The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods;
  • The right to use the federal registration symbol ® and
  • Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases.


Do federal regulations govern the use of the designations “TM” or “SM” or the ® symbol?

If you claim rights to use a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim of ownership of the mark, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, you may only use the federal registration symbol “®” after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.


REVIEWING THE ABUNDANT FREE INFO Do I really need an attorney?

You ARE NOT required to hire an attorney, but if you decide to prepare and submit your own application, you must comply with all requirements of the trademark statutes and rules and may be required to respond to legal issues raised by the USPTO. Because the application process can be complex, many applicants choose to appoint an attorney to represent them. If you choose to appoint an attorney, we will only communicate with your attorney. The USPTO cannot help you select an attorney. However, the American Bar Association website includes information on how to find local attorneys who practice trademark law should you require such assistance.


Going this route can not only save you a great deal of money, educating yourself is always a really good idea!


Is registration guaranteed and can I get a refund of money paid?

Registration is not guaranteed and only money paid when not required may be refunded. For information on why registration may be refused, see Basic Facts About Trademarks.



Should I conduct a search for similar trademarks before filing an application?

It is advisable to conduct a search before filing your application. See TESS TIPS for further information.


Where can I conduct a trademark search for trademarks in pending applications and federal registrations?

You may search the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database free of charge before filing or you may wish to hire an attorney to perform the search and assess the results for you. Alternatively, you can search the database at a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL). Information about PTDL locations can be found here.


Will the Office conduct a search for me?

The USPTO cannot search your mark for you prior to filing. After filing, the USPTO will conduct a search and will refuse to register your mark if there is another registered or pending mark similar to yours.



Where can I find trademark forms?

You can find USPTO forms through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Two forms are available for the initial application: regular TEAS and TEAS Plus. Both forms allow you to pay by credit card, electronic funds transfer, or through an existing United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) deposit account.

If you do not have Internet access, you can access TEAS at any Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) throughout the United States. Many public libraries also provide Internet access.

We recommend using TEAS, but you may file a paper application. To obtain a printed form, call the Trademark Assistance Center at 1-800-786-9199.


What is the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)?

The Trademark Electronic Application System allows you to fill out and file an application form online, paying by credit card, electronic funds transfer, or through an existing USPTO deposit account. TEAS can also be used to file other documents including a response to an examining attorney’s Office action, a change of address, an allegation of use, and post registration maintenance documents.


Where do I send mail or make deliveries?

Although we recommend you file documents online using TEAS, paper mail may be sent to the following address: Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313-1451.

Submissions sent using other delivery services such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and DHL is not encouraged, but if used, must be delivered to: Trademark Assistance Center, Madison East, Concourse Level Room C 55, 600 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314.


Who may file an application?

Only the owner of the trademark may file an application for registration. The owner controls the use of the mark, and controls the nature and quality of the goods to which it is affixed, or the services for which it is used. The owner may be an individual, corporation, partnership, LLC, or other type of legal entity.


May a minor file a trademark application?

The question of whether an application may be filed in the name of a minor depends on your state’s law. If the minor may validly enter into binding legal obligations, and may sue or be sued, in the state in which he or she is domiciled, the application may be filed in the name of the minor. Otherwise, the application must be filed in the name of a parent or legal guardian, clearly setting forth his or her status as a parent or legal guardian. An example of the manner in which the applicant should be identified in such cases is: “John Smith, United States citizen, (parent/legal guardian) of Mary Smith.”


Must I be a U.S. citizen to obtain a federal registration?

No. However, your citizenship must be provided in the application.  If you have dual citizenship, then you must indicate which citizenship will be printed on the certificate of registration.


What is the difference between “use in commerce” and “intent to use” in commerce?

The basic difference between these two filing bases is whether you have used the mark on all the goods/services. If you have already used your mark in commerce, you may file under the “use in commerce” basis. If you have not yet used your mark in commerce, but intend to use it in the future, you must file under the “intent to use” basis. An “intent to use” basis will require filing an additional form and fee that are unnecessary if you file under “use in commerce.”


What is a specimen?

A specimen is a sample of how you actually use the mark in commerce on your goods or with your services. A specimen shows the mark as your purchasers encounter it in the marketplace (e.g., on your labels or on your website).


What is a drawing?

The “drawing” is a clear image of the mark applicant seeks to register. The USPTO uses the drawing to upload the mark into the USPTO search database and to print the mark in the Official Gazette and on the registration certificate. There are two types of drawings: “standard character” and “special form.” For more information on the different types of drawings see Basic Facts About Trademarks.


Can you register the name of a musical group or band?

A band name may function as a service mark for “entertainment services in the nature of performances by a musical group” if it is used to identify live performances.


What can I do to help the application proceed as smoothly as possible?

1. File the application and all other documents electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

2. Carefully review all documents before filing to make sure all issues have been addressed and all the necessary elements are included.

3. Authorize email correspondence and promptly inform the USPTO of any change in correspondence address, including your email address. This can be done through TEAS, available here.

4. Check the status of your application every 3-4 months using the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database. If the USPTO has taken any action, you may need to respond promptly. All USPTO actions are available for viewing using the Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR) database.



Is registration of my mark guaranteed?

No. The examining attorney will review the application and may issue refusals based on the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq., or the Trademark Rules of Practice, 37 C.F.R. Part 2.
The most common reasons for refusing registration are because the mark is:

  • Likely to cause confusion with a mark in a registration or prior application;
  • Descriptive for the goods/services;
  • A geographic term;
  • A surname;
  • Ornamental as applied to the goods.

For a discussion of these and other possible refusals, see Chapter 1200 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP).
The examining attorney may also issue requirements concerning, for example:

  • The goods and services listed in the application;
  • The description of the mark;
  • The quality of the drawing;
  • The specimens.


How can I check the status of my application?

Once you receive a serial number for your application, you can check the status of your application through theTrademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database.  If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call the Trademark Assistance Center at 1-800-786-9199 to request a status check. You should check on the status of your pending application every 3-4 months. If the USPTO has taken any action, you may need to respond promptly. All USPTO actions are available for viewing using the Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR) database.


How long will it take for my mark to register?

The total time for an application to be processed may be anywhere from almost a year to several years, depending on the basis for filing and the legal issues that may arise in the examination of the application. You may view the application processing timelines here.


How do I file a Statement of Use or Extension Request after the Notice of Allowance is issued?

The Applicant has six (6) months from the mailing date of the notice of allowance to file either a Statement of Use or anExtension Request.


If the applicant is using the mark in commerce on all of the goods/services listed in the notice of allowance, the applicant must submit a statement of use form, specimen and the required fee(s) within 6 months from the issue date the notice of allowance to avoid abandonment. Applicant cannot withdraw the statement of use; however, the applicant may file one extension request with the statement of use to provide more time to overcome deficiencies in the statement of use. No further extension requests may be filed.


If the applicant is not using the mark in commerce on all of the goods/services listed in the notice of allowance, the applicant must file an extension request form and the required fee(s) to avoid abandonment. The applicant must continue to file extension requests every 6 months calculated from the issue date of the notice of allowance until the statement of use is filed. A total of 5 extension requests may be filed.


If I filed based on an “intent to use” the mark, when must I allege actual use of the mark in commerce?

You must file your Allegation of Use either prior to the date the application is approved for publication or within six months after the Notice of Allowance is issued, unless a request for an extension of time is granted.


May I assign or transfer the ownership of my trademark to someone else?

Yes. A registered mark may be assigned and a mark for which an application to register has been filed may be assignable. Certain exceptions exist concerning the assignment of Intent-to-Use applications. Assignments may be recorded in the USPTO for a fee. For the guidelines for filing an assignment and the assignment form itself, click onAssignments or contact the Assignment Division at 571-272-3350.



How long does a trademark registration last?

The registration is valid as long as you timely file all post registration maintenance documents. You must file a “Declaration of Use under Section 8” between the fifth and sixth year following registration. In addition, you must file a combined “Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9” between the ninth and tenth year after registration, and every 10 years thereafter. For more information see Maintain/Renew a Registration.


Is a federal registration valid outside of the United States?

No. However, certain countries recognize a United States registration as a basis for filing an application to register a mark in those countries under international treaties. See TMEP Chapter 1000 and TMEP Chapter 1900 for further information.


What if someone else is using my registered mark on related goods and services?

You may challenge use of your trademark by someone else in several ways, depending on the factual situation. You should consider contacting an attorney specializing in trademark law. Local bar associations and phone directories usually have attorney listings broken down by specialties. Time can be of the essence. Click here for further information.


My spouse owned a trademark registration and has since died. Do I own it now?

Perhaps. Because this depends on state law, the USPTO cannot provide a definite answer for all factual situations. You should consider contacting an attorney. Local bar associations and phone directories usually have attorney listings. Click here for further information.



What are “common law” rights?

Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark.  Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark and may allow the common law user to successfully challenge a registration or application.


What is “interstate commerce”?

For goods, “interstate commerce” generally involves sending the goods across state lines with the mark displayed on the goods or the packaging for the goods.  With services, “interstate commerce” generally involves offering a service to customers in another state or rendering a service that affects interstate commerce (e.g., restaurants, gas stations, hotels).


Will my information be public?

All data you submit to the USPTO, including your phone number, e-mail address, and street address, but not your credit card and banking information, is public record and is viewable on the Internet. Do not submit personal identifying information that is NOT required for a filing, such as a social security number or driver’s license number.


What are trademark monitoring and document filing services?

You may receive unsolicited communications from companies requesting fees for trademark-related services, such as monitoring and document filing. Although solicitations from these companies frequently display customer-specific information, including USPTO serial number or registration number and owner name, companies that offer these services are not affiliated or associated with the USPTO or any other federal agency.


May a trademark filing company represent me before the USPTO?

Only licensed attorneys may represent you before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If you hire someone to represent you, he or she must be an attorney licensed to practice law in a U.S. state and be a member in good standing of the highest court of that state. Attorneys from other countries, except certain Canadian attorneys and agents representing Canadian filers, may NOT practice before the USPTO.


How can I view my documents if I cannot use TDR?

You can access a copy of your documents by using the TDR Application Programming Interface (API), which relies on specific URLs rather than the TDR interface presented through the USPTO website. You should follow these examples:

  1. To access all documents for Serial Number 72131351 as a PDF, enter the following in your search box:
  2. To access all documents for Registration Number 3,500,030 as a PDF, enter the following in your search box:
  3. To access all documents for Reference Number Z1231384 as a PDF, enter the following in your search box:


Protect your rights.




Your Copyrights!

This is what we consider to be an example of a simple required resources that all artists who have at their fingertips:

Copyright Forms

Your Copyrights

Copyright Notification Symble

Like Trademarks, your Copyrights and Publishing Assets are extremely important Real-world (Intellectual) Property concerns which you or anyone for that matter who is interested in making something or anything more than simply a hobby of their artistic efforts and endeavors should understand a bit about to some degree beyond that of merely the basics.

In this example we’re going to use the United States’ Library of Congress’ Trademark Registration Depository, a “governmental” vehicle and resource for securing a Record of your works date of  Creation and Title of Ownership(s).  Unlike Trademarks which are  bestowed, Copyrights are not!  They (YOUR “Copyrights“) are your’s from the very moment they are affixed to any medium.   An example would be, let say…. just to “illustrate” and drive home the concept, your out one day setting on the side of a hill enjoying the beauty of a gorgeous spring afternoon when an idea comes to your mind’s eye.     A perfect idea for your music company’s New Logo emerges from your imagination.  You have a Sharpie magic marker to jot-down your idea before it fades back into that place within the either from where all great ideas emerge; however unfortunately, you have no paper.    So, after a few moments of patting your pockets vigorously in search for a scrap of something to jot your idea upon, you spot just within your periphery vision down in the pasture below a group of cows with one in particular sitting off to the side asleep beneath the shade beneath an old oak tree which just so happens to have a large blotch of white on her side perfect for rendering out your idea before it fades from mind.  Rushing down the hill (slipping a few times on the way down of course) you slide yourself ever-so quietly through the wooden fence, tip-toe up to Betsy and begin to quickly scribble out your idea before she awakens.      Even before she awakens your copyright has been established simply from the act of affixing (drawing) your idea (creation/intellectual property) on her side (the medium).  So, from that very moment, the simple act of you creating your logo idea (which you have thought/brought into existence/being and than into physical fruition by affixing it with your marker) on the side of the cow, it is automatically your Copyrighted proper!  The art, not the cow (-:  Affixing any idea to any medium brings a copyright into existence.   No matter the idea ( a song, a painting, a poem, or dance or acting performance or portrait on film or video) what ever it may be, one you have placed it (your idea/Intellectual Property) on ( or affixed) to any medium (paper, canvas, plank of wood, (analog or digital) recording medium, CD, DVD, film, video or any possible physical and tangible item), your copyright(s) and ownership to same exists from that very moment!

MOO FACENow of course you can’t simply take the farmer’s cow in order to register it as proof that you created the work or obtain a Dated and Registered Proof of Ownership Certificate, and even if you paid for the cow, the Registry Office may have a problem with you trying to file the cow.  So, you make a creative compromise of photographing the your work for filing.  The act of you creating the photograph establishes another copyright for the Photo of your Drawing both of which can receive a Certificate (or receipt of filing) which may be used in court or before a tribunal should a dispute ever arise as to who drew on the side of the cow or first came up with the original Logo idea.  The copyright and ownership is yours automatically!  The Registration is simply a Certificate of Proof of Ownership.  Which can be sold or leased to anyone you wish for any amount you wish under any terns you so desire.  Because it is YOUR  Asset YOUR Product, YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY! 


There Are Various Ways To Register Your Works

In addition to the Copyright Office’s electronic filing systems, copyright applications can also still be filed by mail.  When filing electronically one of the most important things to remember is to make sure you use the proper filing formats as indicated below.  Because some of the following links have been designed and structured to take you to further resources which may be away from DigiPraise, be sure to BOOK MARK to avoid difficulty in finding your way back to

U.S. Copyright Office Forms

Primary Registration Method

Registration with Electronic Copyright Office (eCO)

To file a claim to copyright in your work, it is recommend you use the Copyright Office online system.

Before using the service, we recommend you first read eCO Acceptable File TypeseCO TipseCO FAQs, oreCO Tutorial (PowerPoint) eCO Tutorial (PDF).

Advantages include:

  • Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only)
  • Fastest processing time
  • Online status tracking
  • Secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account
  • The ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files

Processing TimeThe time the Copyright Office requires to process an application varies, depending on the number of applications the Office is receiving and clearing at the time of submission and the extent of questions associated with the application. Visit The LOC For Current Processing Times.

Login to eCO: eCO

Alternate Registration Methods

1) Registration with Paper Forms

The fees for a basic registration using one of these forms is $65 payable by check or money order. Form CON (continuation sheet for applications) is also still available in paper. Paper forms are also available by postal mail upon request mail.


Visual Arts

Performing Arts

Sound Recordings

Single Serials

2) Registration with Fill-In Form CO

Form CO, which replaces Forms TX, VA, PA, SE, and SR. Simply complete Form CO on your personal computer, print it out, and mail it along with a check or money order and a copy(ies) or your work. The fee for a basic registration on Form CO is $50.
Note: Form CO cannot be used for group registrations. Visit the LOC for more info regarding group registration forms.

Copyright Office application forms are available in PDF format and must be viewed with version 8 or higher of the freeAdobe Acrobat Reader program.

# Form CO
# Form CO Instructions
# Form CO FAQ

Important Note: Please inspect your printed form to confirm that 2-D barcodes like the one below appear on each page. The barcodes must appear clearly and be free of any distortions, smudges, or fading. If such problems appear and cannot be corrected after checking your printer, do not submit the form.

For more information visit The Library of Congress on the web.