Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Copyrighting Book Titles, or Can Two Books Have the Same Name?

You Can't Copyright Your Book Title,
But You Can Trademark a Brand Based on Your Title!

By Susan Kendrick

Can You Copyright a Book Title? The short answer is No, you cannot copyright a book title.
HOWEVER . . . (and this is a big however) if you plan to use your title phrase as the name for a business, a brand, a line of products, etc., then yes, you can register the phrase as a trademark. And, this should be your goal anyway—to turn your expertise not just into a book, but into a complete business-building brand. Don’t hold back! Give yourself the expert status that will increase your visibility to more clients and customers, your credibility in your industry, and, of course, your income.

Important: There's a lot of online advice available on this topic, which mostly ends by pointing you to a good trademark attorney or suggesting you search the original government sources. So, here you go, the official word from and website addresses of the U.S. Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Here's the official word--from the U.S. Copyright Office website:
By the way, this website also lists the complete copyright registration procedure.

From "Copyright Office Basics"

What works are protected?
Copyright protects “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression.

What is not protected by copyright?
Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others: Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents.

Here’s the official word--from the U.S. Trademark Office website.
This website also contains the complete registration procedures you need.

From "What is Protected by a Trademark?"

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights are three types of intellectual property protection. They are different and serve different purposes:
__ Patents protect inventions, and improvements to existing inventions.
__ Trademarks include any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. Service marks include any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.
__ Copyrights protect literary, artistic, and musical works. For more information, visit the U.S. Copyright Office website listed above.

Could you sell 105,000 copies of your book--using just the title? This author did! Read how he and six other author experts are using their book titles to create mega brands for their businesses. Click here for the full story: http://www.writetoyourmarket.com/action2.html

Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

The Copyright Quiz! What do these three bestselling books have in common?

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

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