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  • Writer's pictureTodd

Can I register the title of my book as a trademark?

Copyright does not protect short phrases such as titles, so that means trademarks do, right?

A title of a single creative work, such as a book, does not function as a trademark, and thus, you can’t get a registration for a single title.

What is registrable as a trademark is a series. Series of printed fiction works, namely, novels and books is in the ID manual in class 16.

For example, the Boxcar Children books each have individual titles, which are not registered trademarks, but the Boxcar Children series is a registered trademark. Another example would be the Goosebumps series.

Even if you use your title on other goods such as posters, shirts, coffee mugs, etc., this does not establish a series.

Selling a singular book in different version or formats, such as different language, or paperback or hardback, is also not enough to establish a series.

Because of the lack of legal protection for titles, the Motion Picture Association

of America apparently has a list of certain movie titles that members agree not to use without permission. That’s why it’s possible to see movies with the same title, while also seeing only one use of a movie title that’s a blockbuster.

To discuss ways to protect the source-identifiers in your works of art, talk to a trademark lawyer.

Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.

Let’s work together on your trademark needs


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