I can't figure out whether I am allowed to use a website's/organisation's name in the name of my own business/website. On the website, there is no explicit information on it, and it seems that the name is not a Registered Trademark or Copyrighted. Can I use it in my business' name, and can I use a logo inspired (a lot) by it?
For business purposes, I would prefer not to mention the name here, but PM me and I can tell you
Thanks a lot!
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Registered Trademarks and Copyrights watch
- Thread Starter
- 30-07-2009 23:54
- 31-07-2009 08:35
Taking your points:
1) There is no such thing as 'copyrighted' - copyright arises automatically and does not need to be registered. Having said that, most company names are too short for copyright to arise. (There was a famous court case about this in which Exxon failed in their attempt to assert copyright in their name.) However, a logo almost certainly will be covered by copyright, and just changing it a bit or incorporating it in a new logo won't get around that.
2) You can register trade marks. Have you searched the Trade Mark Register on the Intellectual Property Office's website?
3) Even if the other company's name is not a registered trade mark you could still be sued for 'passing off' if you misuse it or market yourself in a way that is confusingly similar.
In a nutshell, if you are thinking of trying to imitate some aspect of the marketing of a successful company - DON'T. You won't end up in prison but you might well have damages awarded against you and if it does go to court and you lose you'll have a whopping legal bill from the other side.