About the Intellectual Property Rights Office
The Intellectual Property Rights Office provides information and services relating to intellectual property to citizens of the United States and other Berne Convention countries.
The Intellectual Property Rights Office is an independent, non-governmental organization with international scope, covering all nations which are signatories to the Berne Convention. It was first established in the United Kingdom as a for-profit enterprise, but is not affiliated to any particular nation state and provides copyright protection on an equal basis to the citizens of all Berne Convention countries. At the present time its scope is restricted to the field of copyright, however this may broaden to other areas of intellectual property in future.
The Intellectual Property Rights Office seeks to use the power and increasing prevalence of the internet to allow the creators of original work to protect their rights more easily and in a more internationally standardised fashion than has traditionally been available. This goal is achieved through its Copyright Registration Service website, which offers a central electronic archive to all citizens of Berne Convention countries, where creative works may be deposited as proof of copyright ownership. It also provides a central searchable database, allowing the registration status of works from anywhere within the Berne Union to be verified from any country, worldwide.
The Intellectual Property Rights Office aims to offer protection to original creative works. This includes textual material such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, reference, scripts, screenplays, etc.; audio material such as music, lyrics, speeches (whether in written or audio form), etc.; visual material such as drawings, paintings, photographs, plans, logos, designs, films, cartoons, etc.; computer material such as websites, computer programs, databases, etc. This list is not exhaustive and in general any creative work which is original, unique, and recorded in some way can be registered through the CRS for the purpose of protecting copyright.
While it is possible to register both published and unpublished works, the primary focus of the Intellectual Property Rights Office is to offer protection to unpublished works, where it can be most difficult to prove authorship and copyright ownership, and where the approach taken to protecting such works varies most from nation to nation: some states offering internal official registration procedures, while others offer no means of registration. The Intellectual Property Rights Office provides a central and standardized point where copyright ownership can be recorded, which is accessible and verifiable worldwide.