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I want to protect 3D charecters which are used as emoji in my chat app, how can I do it: copyright (the Copyright office of USA offer a registration service) or as trademarks?

  • A third option would be a design patent. – ohwilleke Feb 8 '17 at 6:46
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    Trademark is to avoid confusion between products. You create a chat app A, I use it and think "I like it, these Emojis are really nice". If someone creates chat app B, "stealing" your Emojis, trademark only protects you if users think they are using your app, not if people buy B's app because of the nice Emojis. Copyright obviously protects you. – gnasher729 Jul 11 '17 at 9:48
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I am not a lawyer, nor do I have expansive knowledge on the subject, but probably, yes. Both copyright and trademark them (via the USPTO and the Copyright Office.)

Copyright because they are creative works, and trademark because they are specifically your emoji, distinct from others' emoji, and a brand.

A commenter has noted this, which I shall include verbatim:

The USPTO is not essential to the ownership or enforcement of any trademark in the USA -- rights arise from the use in commerce. The Copyright Office does not issue or enforce copyrights, but your copyright may not be enforced in US federal courts prior to filing for copyright registration. 17 USC § 411

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    The USPTO is not essential to the ownership or enforcement of any trademark in the USA -- rights arise from the use in commerce. The Copyright Office does not issue or enforce copyrights, but your copyright may not be enforced in US federal courts prior to filing for copyright registration. 17 USC § 411 – Upnorth Aug 9 '17 at 5:00
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Go through this link, it answers this question very well.

Answer to your question

Apple has 2d emoticons registered with copyright office, and so should 3d characters be eligible for copyright protection.

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    Answers should stand on their own, external links should be for expanding or supporting an answer. The reason is that se is supposed to be a permanent redirect and links get broken. – Dale M Aug 11 '16 at 21:16
  • I am glad it helped @MarySpirit ! – lawsome Aug 12 '16 at 13:08

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