One of the most common questions I receive as a practicing arts/entertainment attorney is, "How can I get in touch with the copyright or trademark office and get the application forms?"

The following is some information needed to contact and obtain application forms from these offices:

TRADEMARKS & SERVICEMARKS - 24 hour automated patent & trademark info line and to obtain trade/service mark forms: (703)557-3881 To talk to a human (8:30-5 Mon-Fri): (703)308-HELP. The cost to register a federal mark is $245.00 per mark per class.

To obtain state trade/service mark, contact your local Secretary of State's office. For Rhode Island, the number is (401)277-2340 and the cost is $50.

To search for the availability of a particular mark, an attorney should be retained, but some of the trademark written/database records are available at one public library in each state. In RI: The main branch of the Providence Public Library and the URI Library in Kingston, RI.

COPYRIGHTS - 24 hour automated info line and to obtain copyright forms: (202)707-9100 To talk to a human (8:30-4:30 Mon-Fri): (202)707-3000. The cost to register a copyright is $20 per application. If the work, or works, to be registered are unpublished, many of them can registered together with one application and filing fee, as long as you provide a single title for the whole filing. For those interested in registering a copyright the most often used forms are:

VA - For works of Visual Art

PA - For works of Performing Art

SR - For Sound Recordings

TX - For non-dramatic Literary Works

PATENTS FYI: The cost of registering a Patent with the Federal Patent & Trademark office is currently $710.00. If you are an individual, small business or non-profit organization, the cost is $355.00. 24 hour info line: (703)557-3881. Cost of obtaining information booklet & forms: $2.25

BEWARE OF OLD COPYRIGHT FORMS. For those of you who file their own copyright registrations, you may have extra forms from the copyright office that are now a bit outdated. If your forms state that the filing fee is Ten ($10) dollars per application, that information is incorrect. Effective January 3, 1991, the filing fee for most copyright registration is Twenty ($20) dollars per application.

First Published Version, copyright 1993 David M. Spatt


THIS WEBSITE CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR SOUND LEGAL ADVICE FROM A COMPETENT ARTS OR ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY. In the event of a legal problem or question, specific legal consultation is advised. This website is intended only as a means of educating arts organizations and artists of all disciplines as to their potential legal rights and liabilities. The information provided is made available with the understanding that neither OSLA nor the office of David M. Spatt is engaging in the rendering of legal counsel.

copyright 1997 David M. Spatt, All rights reserved

Reproduction is prohibited without the express written consent of the author