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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone. I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily inspiration to make the world a better place. We’re here today talking about copyright, and this is our big, long series covering all the frequently asked questions that have been asked by you, people like you, and the inventors that visit our website.

By the way, I should mention that all these FAQs that we’re covering, this week and last week, are going to be on our website. So go to and check out our FAQs. You’re going to be able to see more detail to these answers than you will in this video, keeping these short and sweet so those viewers out there aren’t wasting any time, getting right to it.

Today, I get asked sometimes what the difference between patents and copyrights is. And they’re totally two separate bodies of law. Copyright law is governed by not the USPTO. They’re covered by the Library of Congress. And they cover artwork.

You might have thought about this, but copyright covers every single kind of art you can think of. Written works, right, books, like that big famous book that just came out called Fear, about Donald Trump, that book has got a copyright on it. Musical productions, even just the lyrical, or the musical composition, and then performances. Visual art, right, artistic drawings, paintings, sculpture–all covered under copyright.

The beautiful thing about copyright law is that it’s created as soon as it’s completed, or as soon as the artist, if it came from their own mind, produced an artistic work, and it’s of their own creation–as soon as it is put into the world, right, it’s recorded into a tangible means, on a piece of paper, they sculpt the 3D product–they have common law rights in that work. And so they, without even seeking a registration, have the ability to prevent anyone else from using that, or distributing it.

Now, if they’re going to go use that and sell in the stream of commerce, they should certainly seek a copyright registration. What’s interesting about that is that there’s no requirement for it to be unique. As long as they can swear that they created it on their own, it’s fixed in a tangible means, it gets filed. And the copyright office, all they do is indicate who filed it, what the subject matter is, and they classify it, put it into the library, so it’s definitive who created it when.

That’s it. That’s copyright law in a nutshell. If you have any more questions or you want to know more about how that might work, how you might also protect your innovation under patent law, you’ve got to go to our website. Again, it’s You can give us a call, too, at 866-681-6882. I’m your host, J.D. Houvener, of the Bold Today Show. Go big. Go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at