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How to Copyright a Name: Protect Your Unique Identity with Trademark

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Lokesh Pal

December 20, 2023

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How to Copyright a Name: Protect Your Unique Identity with Trademark

In a world where originality and branding are paramount, safeguarding your name has become increasingly crucial.

Knowing how to copyright a name can offer legal safeguards and maintain the distinctiveness of your brand, regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, or individual with a unique identity.

Registering a name for copyright protection provides both legal protection against copyright infringement and exclusive commercial rights to the name’s use.

This article focuses on the essential steps and considerations involved in obtaining copyright protection for your name.

Brand Identity: Protecting Your Logo and Name

In the realm of business products and services, the name and logo of a brand serve as its distinct identity in the market.

The immense market value commanded by renowned brands like Apple, Nike, Pepsi, Maggi, and Levi’s is undeniable.

A mere glimpse of their logo or brand name has the power to captivate people and instill consumer confidence.

With the growing significance of brand value, more and more individuals are seeking protection for their unique brand names and logos.

However, there remains significant confusion regarding the appropriate type of protection to pursue among the available options.

Company Name Trademark or Copyright in India

In India, names cannot be copyrighted under the copyright law.

Copyright protection is primarily intended for creative works such as literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic works.

Names, including brand names or personal names, are typically not considered eligible for copyright protection as they do not fall under the category of original creative expressions.

Instead, brand names and logos can be protected through trademark registration, which is governed by the Trademarks Act in India.

Trademark registration provides exclusive rights and legal protection for the use of a particular name or logo in relation to specific goods or services.

The Importance of Copyright and Trademark for Businesses

While copyright protection may not be applicable when registering a brand name, obtaining a trademark is crucial for businesses.

As a trademark owner, you gain the ability to prevent others, including competitors, from using your brand name or a confusingly similar one.

In fact, many banks require a brand name to be trademarked before allowing the opening of a business account.

Trademark registration also provides legal ownership in specific jurisdictions, whether local, state, or nationwide.

Registered businesses often strive to deliver high-quality services and products to maintain a positive reputation.

Brand names are also utilised as a means of protecting consumers.

Trademarks offer valuable protection to both businesses and consumers, making them an essential aspect of running a successful organisation.

It is highly recommended that all entrepreneurs take appropriate measures to safeguard and enforce their valuable brand names.

By securing trademarks, businesses can establish legal protection, maintain their reputation, and ensure consumer trust.

Steps to Register a Trademark in India

To obtain trademark registration in India for your brand name or logo, the following simple steps need to be followed:

  1. Before registering for a trademark, it is recommended to conduct a comprehensive search to verify the availability of the desired name or logo. Check for any similar words or symbols that may already exist.
  2. Draft the Application: Once the trademark search is completed, prepare the application for trademark registration. Include all the necessary details about the applicant and the proposed trademark in the application.
  3. Waiting and Assessment Period: After submitting the application, a mandatory waiting period of one month begins. During this time, any objections or discrepancies may be raised by the department.
    • In the case of receiving objections, a response must be submitted within a period of one month to handle them.
  4. The trademark application will undergo objection addressing before being published in the journal for a period of four months. This period allows for any third-party opposition to be raised.
  5. Registration of the proposed trademark in India is contingent upon the absence of any objections within the allotted timeframe.

By following these steps and successfully registering your trademark, you can protect your brand name or logo and establish exclusive rights over its use in India.

Related Article: How to Check Copyright Names

Steps to Obtain Copyright Registration for a Logo

If a logo exhibits artistic qualities, it may be eligible for copyright protection in addition to being registered as a trademark.

It’s important to note that trademark registration is a prerequisite for obtaining copyright registration for the proposed logo.

To obtain copyright registration for your logo, follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a Copyright Search: Present the logo’s design in a tangible format, such as a Word document or another medium. Conduct a free search to ensure that no existing copyrights cover the logo.
  2. Submit the copyright registration application to the appropriate department, including all required information and payment of the designated fee. Once the application is submitted successfully, a diary number will be assigned.
  3. As part of the copyright application process, a waiting period of at least 30 days will be observed by the department to accommodate possible objections.
  4. Examiner Check: If no objections are raised during the waiting period, the application will be forwarded to an examiner for further scrutiny.
  5. Upon completion of the final examination, approval of the registration will be granted in the absence of any discrepancies.
  6. Certification of Registration: Once the application is approved, a certificate of copyright registration will be granted.

Trademark registration is required for both brand names and logos in India.

However, if your logo includes unique creative elements, it is advisable to protect it with copyright registration in India as well.

Related Article: How to Copyright a Phrase or Slogan

Trademark Application Process: How to Copyright a Name

Follow the below-mentioned steps to apply:

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    Confirm uniqueness:
    Ensure that your trademark is unique and distinct from existing trademarks.
  2. Obtain an application form: Download Form – TM 1 from the Controller General website. This form carries a one-time fee of INR 3500.
  3. Prepare documentation: Gather the required documents for submission, including:
    • Identity proof of the directors (if multiple owners) along with address proof.
    • Description of goods or services (within 500 words).
    • Standard 9 x 5 cm image of your logo.
  4. Fill in the application: Complete the trademark application form with accurate information and attach the necessary documents.
  5. Submit the application: Submit the filled-in application form along with the supporting documents to the appropriate authority.

By following these steps, you can initiate the process of registering your trademark and protecting your unique brand identity.

Trademark Registration Process for Brand Name or Logo in the U.S.

  1. Conduct a trademark search: Use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) tool provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to ensure that your brand name or logo does not conflict with the existing service mark.
  2. File a trademark application: Use the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) to submit your trademark application. Choose the appropriate application form: TEAS Plus, TEAS Reduced, or TEAS Regular.
  3. Complete the application form: Fill out the required information on the application form provided to you after selecting the appropriate application type.
  4. Application Review: Upon submission of your application, an email confirmation will be sent to you. An attorney will review your application within approximately 90 days to ensure it meets all legal requirements for trademark approval.
  5. Monitor application progress: It is important to regularly monitor the progress of your application, typically every 3 to 4 months, to stay informed about any updates or requests from the reviewing attorney.

Enforcing Trademark and Copyright Rights

Once you have obtained trademark and copyright protection for your brand name, logo, or creative work, it’s important to actively enforce these rights to maintain their exclusivity.

Here are key steps to enforce your trademark and copyright rights:

  1. Monitor unauthorised use: Regularly monitor the market and online platforms to identify any unauthorised use or infringement of your trademark or copyrighted material. This can be done manually or with the assistance of monitoring services.
  2. Document evidence: Keep detailed records of any instances of infringement, including dates, locations, and evidence of unauthorised use. This evidence will be crucial in supporting your claims during enforcement actions.
  3. Cease and desist letters: Send cease and desist letters to the infringing parties, clearly stating your rights, demanding they stop using your trademark or copyrighted material, and seeking remedies, such as damages or the removal of infringing content.
  4. Negotiate settlements: In some cases, you may choose to engage in negotiations with the infringing parties to resolve the issue outside of court. This can involve discussions on licensing, ceasing the infringement, or reaching a settlement agreement.
  5. Legal actions: If the infringement persists or negotiations fail, you may need to take legal action. Consult with an intellectual property attorney to determine the appropriate legal steps, which may include filing a lawsuit to protect your rights and seek remedies.
  6. International enforcement: If your trademark or copyright extends internationally, consider enforcing your rights in relevant jurisdictions. Consult with legal professionals experienced in international intellectual property law to navigate these processes effectively.

Remember, enforcing your trademark and copyright rights requires vigilance, proactive monitoring, and timely action.

Seeking legal guidance can greatly assist in ensuring the protection and enforcement of your intellectual property rights.

Conclusion

Copyright law primarily applies to creative works in tangible mediums, such as literature, art, or music.

To protect a name, business owners should consider seeking trademark protection instead, as trademarks safeguard brand identifiers and distinguish products or services in commerce.

Utilising trademark symbols, such as ™ or ®, helps signify trademark rights, with a registered trademark offering enhanced legal protection.

Understanding the entire process of trademark law, including the registration of designs of logos, can empower business owners to assert their trademark rights effectively.

By navigating the complexities of trademark law and securing trademark protection, business owners can establish a strong brand identity and enforce their rights in the marketplace.

FAQs

What is a copyright name?

Copyright does not specifically protect names. Copyright law primarily covers original creative property works fixed in tangible mediums, such as literary, artistic, or musical creations.

How to get your business name copyrighted?

Business names are typically protected through trademark registration, not copyright.

To obtain service mark protection for your business name, you can file a trademark application with the appropriate intellectual property office in your jurisdiction.

How to put a copyright on something?

Copyright protection is automatic upon the creation of an original work in a tangible medium.

You can indicate your copyright claim by using the copyright symbol (©), followed by the year of creation and the copyright holder’s name.

However, formal registration is not required for copyright protection in many countries.

Can I copyright my business name in India?

Business names are generally not eligible for copyright protection.

However, you can seek trademark protection to safeguard your business name as a brand identifier and prevent others from using a confusingly similar name.

How to add a copyright?

To indicate a copyright claim, you can add the symbol (©), followed by the year of creation and the rights holder’s name.

This notice can be placed on the work itself or in the accompanying documentation.

What are the differences between copyright and trademark?

Copyright primarily protects original creative works, while trademarks protect brand names, logos, or other identifiers associated with goods or services.

Copyright focuses on expression in tangible mediums, while trademarks distinguish and protect commercial sources in the marketplace.

Copyright protection is automatic upon creation, while trademark registration provides enhanced legal rights and exclusivity.

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