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See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration” and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U. The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration. The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights.
A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others. Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.” Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
Do I have to register with your office to be protected? You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U. Registration is recommended for a number of reasons.
Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries.
Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be.