When Should I Copyright My Work?

Many artists, writers, and other creative types operate under the assumption that a creative work becomes copyrighted upon completion. While this is true, the actual date that your work was created is difficult to prove, and so that is why registration of your creative work is necessarily in order to establish a legal presumption of your copyright in the work. Creative works need to be quickly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to attach the legal protections that allow copyright holders to enforce their copyright protections against the infringement of their intellectual property rights by others.

The Dangers of Not Registering Your Copyright

Registration of your copyrighted work, and giving notification of that copyright registration to potential infringers, is what makes copyright law a useful and effective tool for enforcing copyright protection against potential and actual infringers. Registration of a creative work affords copyright holders protections under federal copyright law, which means that you will be able to sue when someone infringes your copyright and receive damages up to $150,000 for the wrong that was done to you. You may also be able to recover attorneys’ fees as well.

How Long Can You Wait To Get Copyright Registration?

When a person creates a creative work, they must register their work in order to obtain the legal protections that are of most use to the copyright holder. While you can register a work at any time after its creation, a copyright holder will gain the most benefit from their intellectual property rights in the work if they register the work in a timely manner after its creation. “Timely” means either before any copyright infringement beings, or within three months of a work’s publication date. You can only obtain statutory damages for copyright infringement going back to when the work was registered, so it is better to have your copyright protection in place sooner rather than later.

If you have questions or concerns regarding copyrights and or how to register your copyright, please do not hesitate to contact Parsons & Goltry online, or by calling 480-991-3435. Let us assist you throughout each step of your case.

Client Approved


"Our company has worked with a number of patent attorneys and were so pleased when we began working with Parsons & Goltry nearly a decade ago. Mike Goltry's knowledge and attention to detail has enabled us to have numerous products patented and trademarks registered. We highly recommend this Law Firm."

- Sharon K.


"Michael Goltry is the most professional, honest and effective patent attorney whom I ever met in my 40 year professional engineering career. I started to work with him over 20 years ago and plan to work indefinitely."

- Zoltan Kemeny, PhD, Struct. Eng.


"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."

- Ski Milburn, CEO, Victori, LLC


"I applied for a patent through Parsons & Goltry. After being on the docket for 2 years at the USPTO, I received notification that my patent request had been denied. Michael Goltry contacted me immediately to review my options. After I informed him of my decision to move forward, he filed a response to the USPTO. In his response he got the examiner to fully understand the claims in the patent application and the "denied" decision was reversed. I was able to secure and receive a "patent granted" decision. Thank you, Michael Goltry."

- Kathy H., Inventor


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