Copyright law has to do with preventing the unauthorized copying of any work of authorship. Anyone can copy the ideas contained within a written piece of work. But the direct copying of the work is prohibited.
This right is covered under federal intellectual property law. Any document written after March 1, 1989 does not need to be registered to be protected by the law. You can simply place the notice on your document.
You register not in the patent Office but the Library of Congress - the link is below. If if you have documents that are considered important you can both register them and use the proper notice on your documents. But again, there is no need to register the work with the Office or to seek any other kind of permission before using the notice.
The usual notice generally consists of the symbol © (the letter C in a circle), followed by the year of first publication of the work; and the name of the owner of the right in the work.
See my example in the footer of this page.
Not enough info for you? There is a Part II.
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Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.