How to Copyright a Name

Generally, names cannot be copyrighted. Rather, they must be trademarked. The process to get a named trademarked isn’t too difficult once individuals know the process with which to do so. However, the time that it takes for a trademark application to be reviewed and for a decision to be made can take as long as a year.

<h1>Types of Trademark Symbols</h1>

There are two types of trademark symbols: the trademark symbol (™) and the registered trademark symbol (®). The trademark symbol can typically be used by anyone, but the registered trademark symbol is awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is more valid than a regular trademark symbol. In instances where there is a dispute over a name using the original trademark symbol, the matter is resolved legally by going back to the first published use of the name in question. Such legal issues can be avoided by simply registering a trademark, though.

<h1>Eligibility</h1>

People can navigate to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s official website to determine whether or not the name that they want to trademark is eligible for trademark. Common words cannot be trademarked, and individuals should also conduct a search on the Trademark Electronic Search System to ensure that the names they want to trademark haven’t already been registered. When search results are returned, they indicate what industry the trademark is being used in, if it’s being used. Individuals may use trademarks that are in use in one industry for another industry. For instance, if a name is being used by the health industry, it can still be used by the fashion industry, as long as it’s not already in use in the fashion industry.

<h1>Application</h1>

People can then fill out the applications for their trademarks online. If they want their names to feature graphics and other design elements, they should submit a file with their names and logos in them. After submitting the application, they will be issued a serial number that they can refer to in future communications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, individuals can expect to have to wait at least half a year before they hear anything from the office concerning their trademark requests.

People who want to trademark a name might want to consider officially registering their trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Registration offers more protection in the event of conflicts than utilizing an unregistered trademark.

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