Can i use this name?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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ut23392
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Can i use this name?

Post by ut23392 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:49 am

Good morning.
i have this question.
I m opening a B&B in my town.
i would like to use this name to call my room but i don t know if i can or i can't.
the name are:

Sherlock Holmes
James Bond
Maigret
Poirot
Nero Wolf
Ellery Queen

Can you help me?
thank you
Mario

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:42 am

Hi Mario,
Copyright does not normally apply to names, mainly because they are too short and too 'factual' to qualify.
However there can be a problem if they are registered as trade marks, which is the case with the first four of the names on your list. But trade marks need to be registered for use with specific classes of goods or services, and fortunately none of those which are registered have been applied for in Class 43 which covers hotel accommodation etc, and so there is little chance that your use would amount to infringement of a trade mark.
Of course it depends where your B&B is. I have assumed it is in the UK. Trade marks are specifically protected in the countries where they are registered, and so as the marks Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Maigret and Poirot have been registered in the UK and the European Union, whatever protection they have here would not apply elsewhere unless they have also been registered locally.
There is one other category, known as passing off, which might need to be considered. But since all these names are well known literary characters, I don't think there could be any confusion about them being used as names of rooms somehow relating to either endorsements or services provided by the registered owners.
So I think you are completely free to use these names for the rooms in your B&B.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

ut23392
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:44 am

Thanks

Post by ut23392 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:57 am

Thanks so much. The hotel will be in Arezzo Italy.
I appreciate your comment.
Mario
AndyJ wrote:Hi Mario,
Copyright does not normally apply to names, mainly because they are too short and too 'factual' to qualify.
However there can be a problem if they are registered as trade marks, which is the case with the first four of the names on your list. But trade marks need to be registered for use with specific classes of goods or services, and fortunately none of those which are registered have been applied for in Class 43 which covers hotel accommodation etc, and so there is little chance that your use would amount to infringement of a trade mark.
Of course it depends where your B&B is. I have assumed it is in the UK. Trade marks are specifically protected in the countries where they are registered, and so as the marks Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Maigret and Poirot have been registered in the UK and the European Union, whatever protection they have here would not apply elsewhere unless they have also been registered locally.
There is one other category, known as passing off, which might need to be considered. But since all these names are well known literary characters, I don't think there could be any confusion about them being used as names of rooms somehow relating to either endorsements or services provided by the registered owners.
So I think you are completely free to use these names for the rooms in your B&B.

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