Copyright rights exist at the moment the work is created and fixed in a tangible form (even if on your hard drive). Thus, your work does not need to be officially registered with the US Copyright Office to enjoy copyright protection. An official registration provides certain legal presumptions and greater remedies if a third party infringes your work. The UW Center for Commercialization may file a copyright registration application in your work, depending on the circumstances and the type of work. Your Technology Manager and the Copyright/Trademark Manager can discuss this option with you.