jason__c — 2011-04-20T17:13:42-04:00 — #1
Hi, can I get someone to match these legal questions. Anwser which is a Trademark or Copyright:
A) The actual company name (Yahoo and Google)? I have a unique business name.
B) The logo mixed with the company name? Actual business name mixed with company colors and shapes..
force — 2011-04-20T18:20:45-04:00 — #2
Is this a homework question?
Trying searching for the definitions of the two terms and work from there.
jason__c — 2011-04-20T18:31:56-04:00 — #3
Really? The time it took you to write that diatrab, you could of just said "Trademark" or "Copyright". No, it's not a homework assignment, I thought I would come on a FORUM and ask a question I needed an answer for. Such an "Advisor" you are. No wonder this websites forum sucks.
dave_zan — 2011-04-20T21:31:56-04:00 — #4
I can be wrong, but I'll try anyway.
B. Trademark and/or copyright, depends how or what you intend to do with it.
hawk — 2011-04-20T21:53:08-04:00 — #5
Yet you're still here?
You have the right to your opinion but we work hard here and saying that kind of thing is just rude...
felgall — 2011-04-20T22:30:17-04:00 — #6
A) A company name is protected because it is a company name - you'd only need to trademark a business name different from that of the company using it or where there isn't a company. Individuals and companies trading under their own name do not need a trademark. to protect that name..
B) A logo is an image and is therefore protected by copyright. You may be able to protect it further by also applying to have it registered as a trademark.
jason__c — 2011-04-21T07:56:44-04:00 — #7
Sorry. The forums don't suck, btw. Just didn't understand that response from an "Advisor"..
Thanks fegall, that completely answered my question...
force — 2011-04-21T13:59:06-04:00 — #8
It sounded like a homework question at first. Generally, we don't just "give" an answer to homework questions or the person wouldn't actually learn anything. If it's a general question, the common response would be to offer some tips/links to get moving in the general direction towards an answer.
If the person shows that they attempted to answer the question or was having trouble with a specific piece of the question, then it's more likely to garner specific replies.
We have no way of verifying whether or not you are a student with a homework question, but a polite response or follow-up question will usually steer things in the right direction. There are much better ways to communicate your dissatisfaction with a response than the one you gave.
p2409 — 2011-04-24T09:15:45-04:00 — #9
Re your own name/logo: None of them are trademarked until you file them with the patents office and pay the $$$$ to a patent attorney to get it done (around $5K+ where I live).
In common law, your business name and logo may be copyright already. This part is complicated. If you haven't run the business/used the logo for long, they're probably not and anyone can grab and use them. The onus would then be on you to show it was your own work, and the work you've done is actually 'copywritable' = $$$$, complicated and basically not worth it unless you've got or are planning to create a medium sized/largish business. Copyright is very difficult to enforce unless you're a big company and/or have lots of $$$ to spend on lawyers. But remember, copyright only has any real meaning when someone copies you, and you can prove it damaged your business. Having your business logo/name already trademarked is a big help in enforcing a copyright.
For a half-arsed, hokey or new little website outfit, I wouldn't bother. Wait till it's bigger and you can afford to spend the cash to get it trademarked.
Felgall is pretty much wrong on all points. The main one though is :
"A company name is protected because it is a company name"
It's only protected from someone else creating a company in the exact name with whoever the government department that registers names is ie. the word 'protection' here is pretty pointless. It has absolutely zip to do with copyright or trademark, or enforcing either. Like I said, a trademark doesn't exist until you go through the process of registering it with a patents office and copyright is something different again.
felgall — 2011-04-24T19:04:21-04:00 — #10
That's true but you don't need to trademark or copyright a company name or business name. The registration process you go through in legally acquiring the name in the first place provides you with all of the protection for the name that you will ever need - at least in the locality where you register it.
There is no point to trademarking just a business or company name - such trademarks should always include the particular font and graphics used in the particular logo being trademarked. A trademark of just the name would provide no more protection than is already provided by registering the company or business. The logo would still be covered by copyright even if you don't trademark it. (Copyright is automatic in most countries and there is no facility for actually registering a copyright in most countries as it automatically belongs to whoever created it - or their employer if they did it as a part of their job - unless there is a contract which states otherwise).
Of course there may be a few countries around where the rules are different and registering the company or business name does not provide you with all the protection you need for that name. Perhaps p2409 lives in one of those countries and what I said earlier is wrong for where he lives (but is still right everywhere else). The whole point in having to register a company or business name is that it gives you the right to use it and prevents anyone else using it.
green_moon — 2011-04-25T13:41:10-04:00 — #11
That may be true where you are, but is basically wrong in most parts of the world. Under common law, you can acquire trademark rights by use. Registration of a trademark does generally give better rights, but is not required.
Even if you register a trademark, it must be used to identify goods or services. A company name alone is not automatically a trademark.
Copyright, on the other hand, is not a common law right at all. It is purely statutory. They may have copyright in a logo, but it is generally not possible to copyright a name.
There is a tremendous amount of misinformation in this thread.
p2409 — 2011-04-26T10:44:50-04:00 — #12
Sorry I was incorrect about trademark vs. copyright. In Australia you do have some automatic claim to a trademark by merely using it (however it appears to be difficult here to enforce it without registering it first - without registration you have to prove all sorts of hard stuff about your reputation in the market, and the damage you are incurring).
Registering a business name with the government in Australia however provides you with no additional rights beyond what you have already ie. it is of no assistance in claiming a trademark. It does only two things: a) ticks a box that says you have to be registered to trade and b) stops anyone else registering the same name. It's important for people to understand you 'don't get all the protection you will ever need' from going through the registration process. In fact, you get almost none. There are numerous warnings about this eg. Registration of Business and Company Names
A friend of mine learnt this the hard way: without registration, a trademark was just too difficult to enforce (even when willing to spend money on it) and the ABN/business trading registration process was considered unimportant. The original reason she didn't register the trademark was cost: as you say, you don't just trademark a name, but when you add all the distinguishing features in, the patent attorneys costs were prohibitive. The solution was to let it go and start again under a new business name!