Copyright, Trademark and Patent YOUTUBE

Posted on 2007-08-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-25
Legal Scenario: Would would be the steps to copyright, trademark and patent a Site like Youtube. Assuming we were at its earlier stage. Not launched yet.  

What in this site can be copyrighted ?  logo, concept etc..
What can be trademarked ?
What can be patented (Encoding technology. mobile  etc..)

And what would be the steps in each case.

Thank you
Question by:bwm2007
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Nearly any 'original and new content created or owned by you' can be copyrighted - although trying to enforce this can be slightly tricky. Since your site is going to be in the public domain, anyone could copy anything (text/images/non DRM videos etc) and you would have to track down any copies and issues a cease and desist letter - and then follow up with any other actions that may be appropriate

    Trademarks can be anything that people can readily identify your company/organisation by - eg Logos, slogans, names. This would prevent people from being allowed to use whatever you have trademark as their own (although this can still be hard to enfocre with domain squaters etc)

    Patents are a tricky to get for websites and can be hard to prove if other sites may be breaching a patent. You would have to find the part of the technology you believe is new and unique, and submit a patent application to your local patent office. Patents can take some time to acquire (especially if there is a dispute or your technology is ambigious [eg you're trying to patent something that may already exists or is just using function provided in an existing technology]). Again, with your site being in a public domain, there is nothing to stop other people copying your technologies where the patent does not apply (or where it cannot be enforced under law)

    Hope this helps
    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    Don't forget that the legislation covering technologies like this is not worldwide and that different countries enforce their copyright protection laws in different ways.  You will morally be able to prove you own all of the above but you may find you are unable to enforce them outside of your own native country.

    Author Comment

    If we take Youtube as an example, what can be C/T/P ?
    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    c = concept
    t = brand incl logos, possibly layout if uniquely recognisable
    p= you have this already - the flash conversion on upload there is nothing else novel on the site.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    To get started in the process of securing a patent, copyright or trademark (or all three), you need to hire a patent/trademark/intellectual property attorney licensed in your state, preferably with some international legal experience in these fields.  

    The legal paperwork that must be filed to obtain patents, copyrights and/or trademarks is substantial and requires particularity of detail in the language used to fill out the forms.  Trying to do it yourself is an almost certain recipe for disaster.  

    Good luck!
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Forced accept.

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