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How To Know If A Brandname Is Copyrighted?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Hic

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:07 PM

Hi ..
There are several Brandnames being used here and there, sometimes there is just a registered domain name, with no website ..

My question is how to know if the company name is copyrighted, and I don't have the permissions to use it?

For example, registering MyGoogleForum.com will cause some problems for sure .. How to know that Google is a registered company name?

(I'm new to copyrighting issues .. sorry)

Thanks for answering ..

#2 qwerty

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:22 PM

You're asking about trademarks, not copyright. Assuming you're talking about the US, you should check the database at the Patent and Trademark Office, using the Trademark Electronic Search System. It's also a good idea just to do a web search on the name you're considering. Someone may be using it, even if they haven't applied for a trademark, and if that's the case you need to consider whether your use of the name would infringe on whatever level of ownership they might have, keeping in mind that using a name for a purpose that's completely different from theirs might be OK.

I'm not a lawyer, but as I understand it, for them to prove that you've infringed on their trademark they need to demonstrate that your use of a name may make people confuse your product for theirs, or that your use of the name somehow harms their use of it. That is, if they use "Brand X" as the name of their diesel engine, it may not be a problem for you to also use that name for your line of hamster and gerbil toys.

#3 Hic

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 05:01 PM

Thank you very much ..
Just what I wanted to know. clapping.gif


#4 Jill

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:23 PM

Also, keep in mind that even companies who don't officially register their trademark or service mark, they may still have a right to it and to keep others from infringing on it.

I think we have some very old threads here on the topic. Moderator McAnerin may have participated.

#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:06 PM

Under U.S. law you definitely have a right to assert and enforce trademark protection for unregistered marks if you can show that you have conducted business under those marks. I was advised of this by an entire email list of trademark attorneys several years ago. I'm pretty sure the law has not changed with respect to this.

Of course, anyone who is concerned about their legal status should always consult a practicing, licensed attorney.



#6 Hic

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:12 PM

Fair enough ..
SO the only method to know if the name is used or not is to do some research on Google I assume ..


Thanks for answering ..
PS: Jill, I'll take a look for sure.

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:28 PM

Google doesn't know about every Web site and it won't tell you about every Web site it knows about.

I would search on all four of the top search engines, just to be a little more sure.





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