Can I protect a title?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Pete
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Can I protect a title?

Post by Pete » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:12 am

First of all I must say I'm happy to have found this forum, it looks very helpful.

My question is about protecting my copyright in a title of a book, or more importantly a series of books.

What I have in mind is a short catchphrase along the lines of "xxx for Dummies" or "Now that's what I call yyy".

The title in itself is more of an idea than an artisitic work so I'm worried that if I publish one book, then that idea is then out there for all and sundry to profit from if they use it for another book.

I imagine that if it's not a copyright issue, it might be protectable as a brand.

Is a title such as this copyrightable or protectable in some other way?

Thanks, Pete

EDIT

I think I found the answer: I just need to register it as a trademark.

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:27 pm

Hi Pete

Yes. A trademark is certainly an option.

You are correct that this is not really a copyright matter, but even without a trademark, there is a concept know as passing off - this is where a company/individual uses a name/branding or implies association with another existing company in order to poach trade.

I.e. if you really did go for 'xx for Dummies' I guess the guys who wrote the dummies guides would be consulting their lawyers. I know you just used that as an example :)

The point is that once your 'brand' is established, even without a trademark, there are still ways to protect your brand identity.


I you want to delve a little bit deeper I found a fact sheet on this topic on the the UKCS website - which maybe worth a look as it explains some of the logic behind this matter : Names, titles, phrases and passing off (etc.) fact sheet

Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:52 pm

thanks very much, I'll look into that,

Yes I imagine that once I've published and established the brand, I have some protection, but I want to make sure my idea is safe while I'm in the development stage, i.e. looking for publishers and /or collaborators.

I registered it today, they are very helpful at the ipo.gov - quick phone response and friendly customer service. Only downside is the process takes 6 months but apparently once I've started it, then if anyone else tries to register later my application gets priority.

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