Can trademarks in the U.S. also be protected by copyright?

         The answer may surprise you.   Many design marks possess sufficient originality to qualify for protection under copyright law because they are original works of authorship fixed in a tangible form of expression.  While marks composed only of words or common designs do not meet this threshold requirement for copyright protection, works of visual art such as graphic and pictorial works might.  If your trademark qualifies, copyright law can be an important tool to stop unlawful use of marks in other countries, avoid importation of gray market goods, and obtain statutory damages and an award of attorneys’ fees in the U.S.  Timely registration is key.

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