View Full Version : Copyrights and Trademarks

03-30-2009, 10:58 AM
So if a fella had an idea for a product and came up with a name, logo and a business plan, how hard is it to get copyright / trademark protection on the company name and logo? I know that a trademark has to be something unique, i.e. it cant just be a typed name, one of the letters must be different somehow at a minimum.

I have something brewing and while I doubt it will make me millions I would like the ability to keep the company name and other identification marks safe.

I am poking around the net looking at info but I thought that someone here might have some solid info.


03-30-2009, 11:14 AM
Copyright is automatic but it doesn't apply to things like slogans or phrases or product names. Also, you cannot copyright or trademark numbers such as a model number which is one of the reasons that Intel stopped using numbers to decribe their processor models.

Trademarks are easy to get as long as nobody else already has what you want. The real catch is making sure that your trademark isn't too similar to someone elses in a manner that might tend to confuse the public. It isn't clear cut. For example, in this town there are many businesses that use the name Williams Lake followed by whatever they do such as Williams Lake Auto Glass. Even though my last name is Williams I would not be able to start a business called Evan Williams Auto Glass. Normally you are free to use your own name but only if it doesn't confuse the public.

You will need to do a trademark search. You can find all the information you need at the Patent and Trademark office web site.


03-30-2009, 02:30 PM
Some thing else to consider there is a SM which is the service mark which covers the aforementioned items not covered by either of the or the The feds had a pretty good booklet on it where the money comes in is when you have to hire somebody to look through the files to see if it has been done before.
They probably have all the information on line now.

03-30-2009, 02:37 PM
You can search all the databases online at the above website.