In the United States, copyright must be registered with the appropriate agency.
Each country has its own requirements and you would need to make enquiries in each of those jurisdictions.
In the United Kingdom, although copyright is covered under the Copyright Design & Patents Act, copyright arises automatically simply by virtue of the fact that the author or artist created it.
All that necessary in the United Kingdom is for the author or artist to prove that they created it and that they created it on a particular date.
The copyright in the design actually belong to the designer if the designer is self-employed or a contract er even if you pay for the design, unless there is a specific agreement between you and the designer that the copyright vests in you.
If the designer is employed by you as an employee under a PAYE scheme then the copyright vests in the employer.
The best way of proving that you created it on a particular date would be to affix a postage stamp to it and get the post office to cancel the postage stamp with their date stamp. Alternatively, send a copy to your solicitor and ask them to date stamp it.
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