Ask Jean! Protecting a Catalog of Work

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| August 29, 2007


You asked your legal, copyright and trademark questions, and Jean has answered! All questions are taken from comments posted on the original ‘Ask Jean’ post. We invite you to ask more questions.

Dear Jean,

I draw designs for greeting cards (my own little “company” for family and friends, complete with logo.) After much encouragement, I would like to attempt to have my designs copyrighted so that I can take them around to gift shops and such.

My question is this: do I need to copyright every single design separately (which will break me if I do! I have a lot of designs!) or will a trademarked logo protect them? If I have my logo trademarked, does that protect just the logo or does it protect the designs in anyway? I have seen some cards that have the artist’s name with the copyright symbol, how does that work? I obviously have no clue what to do concerning copyrighting greeting card designs.

(guess that was more than one question!)

Dear Elizabeth,

The best way to register all the designs together is to put them all together in a catalog and register the entire catalog in one registration on a VA form. If you have them on a Web site you can also register the site contents on one registration.

A trademark will protect only the name and logo, not the designs.

You should put a copyright notice on all your cards © your name (year). As the creator of the cards, you are the copyright owner.


Ask Jean responses consist of general legal information and do not constitute specific legal advice or create an attorney client privilege. Please consult your own attorney about your specific legal issues.


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