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Can you copyright a 3 word service name?
Client said they have but i'm sceptical

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4084756 posted 1:39 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I have a client that has asked me to put the copyright symbol after the name of a service that they offer on their site. I have no problem doing this but I am sceptical that they can copyright the 3 word service name like they claim to have. The service name is along the same lines as "Widgets 2 Wodgets". I am just curious to know if something like that can be copyrighted? I would have thought the way to protect something like that is to Trademark it?

Any info would be appreciated.




WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4084756 posted 1:49 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

A service can have a Service Mark (SM) or could be a registered trademark (TM), but cannot be copyrighted.

See the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site for an explanation of patents, trademarks, and copyrights if the site falls under U.S. law.



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4084756 posted 2:04 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info, Sorry i should have said i'm in the UK, but i'm guessing the same, or atleast similar, rules go over here.



Just had another hunt on the UK's IP Office website and found that names, titles, slogans and phrases can't be copyrighted so i'm guessing my Clients service name would probibily come under one of these catagories, now all i need to do is decide whether to tell them or not :-/


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4084756 posted 6:57 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Your client has confused copyright and trademarks - I suppose the (r) and the (c) look similar!

Its actually a common mistake, and very hard to explain to people.

They need to apply for (and pay for) a trademark. They do have some common law protection of the name if it is distinctive, but there AFAIK is no recognised way of claiming that.

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