Sunday, August 22, 2010

Can I Register the Copyright on a Book's Title? by Daren C Cari

I must tell you that titles do not fall under copyright protection under law.

HOWEVER, if you are intending your book to be the first of a series of books under this title, i.e. if you're intending to create a brand from your books, you could be able to trademark it. I'm thinking here of the kind of series of books like the "Chicken Soup" series by Mark Victor Hansen & Jack Canfield. Other series of fictional books are created and sold of course; under the Star Wars and Star Trek brands for example.

Once you establish a book series under your title, the title can acquire a secondary use as a brand for your books, effectively the trademark for your products.

In that event, you can simply use the "TM" symbol against it.

The "TM" mark indicates a trademark and, as you're probably aware, functions like the "©" copyright symbol, in that it is notice to others that this is a brand, identifiable to the product's owner, that they're using it to sell their merchandise, and others shouldn't try and pass off or sell work/merchandise using that title. It's unofficial, and while not carrying the weight of the official "®" trademark symbol you get having registered with the UK's Intellectual Property Office (which we got for our company name duly noted®), it is nevertheless universally recognised.

Once you look for it in the everyday world, you'll notice the TM mark everywhere, for titles, names and logos.

Certain popular authors' characters even have the TM symbol next to them. Clive Cussler's "Dirk Pitt" character is one name I can think of. Harry Potter to; not just as a character name, but as a brand as that name is always in the Harry Potter books titles. Spiderman creator Stan Lee trademarked and licensed his own name, and Tom Cruise won a case against a website using his name to sell unrelated goods. So it is possible you can make good use of a trademark to help you in the fight against unauthorised/unlicenced usage.

duly registered is your instant, Online Copyright Registration solution. Our service provides intellectual property owners unbiased, verifiable third party day-and-date evidence about their work to aid their case in the event their copyright is breached.

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