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Can you copyright brand names?

There is a common misconception that there is a close connection between the law of copyright, brand protection and company names. In fact, under UK intellectual property law, these are three, very different, concepts. So the question arises, how to copyright brand names.

Copyright attaches to artistic and literary works, such as paintings, sculpture, musical compositions and novels but to speak of copyright in a brand or name is to overlook the fact that brands and names need separate protection by means of trademark registration.

Copyright in logos and designs is automatic in the UK and does not require any process of registration for the creator to assert legal ownership of copyright. However, copyright works such as designs and logos should also, without fail, also be protected by trademark registration. It is not enough just to rely on copyright and, even if you own the copyright, brand theft can easily occur if someone else decides to register your design or logo as a trademark before you get the chance to do so.

Unlike copyright, brand names must be protected by means of trademark registration. Businesses that own a trade mark registration will have the exclusive, renewable right to use the name within the territory for the chosen goods or services for 10 years. They would also have the right to prevent other parties from using an identical or similar name for the same goods or services.

Brand names and trade names are usually not usually artistic works. If there exists any copyright in brand names, it would most likely only relate to the design of a logo or a particular visual get-up of the brand concept.

As distinct from design copyright, brand names should always be registered as trademarks.

So what would you like to do next...

GET FREE LEGAL ADVICE ...talk to a trademark expert right now on any aspect of trademark registration and how to get copyright brand protection and copyright brands. Our legal advisory and search service is free!
GET A FREE TRADEMARK SEARCH ...discover if your trademark, copyright brand name or slogan is legally available. Get a Free Trademark Search right now. Your trademark searches are carried out and reviewed by legal experts.
GET A FREE TRADEMARK AVAILABILITY REPORT   ...get a Free Report on the legal availability of your trademark and how to get copyright brand protection  ..BEFORE you commit ...from our experts.
REGISTER A TRADEMARK When you are satisfied that your chosen trademark is legally available and you want to go ahead and get copyright brand protection we will handle the whole trademark registration process for you. We will draft the best trademark specification for your business, deal with all Registry queries and conduct any necessary Registry hearings. FIXED FEES ..NO hidden costs!
Contact us now for free advice on how to copyright brands on 020 7749 2700.

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