Can You Copyright a Character or Book Title? How about Trademarking? – by Joseph Perry, Intellectual Property Attorney…

on Anne R Allen:

Copyright law is complicated.

Can You Copyright a Title?

No. Under the US Copyright Act, you cannot copyright a title.

That is because titles are too short to be protected. Copyright law protects original works fixed in a tangible medium of expression. (For example, your novel written and saved on Microsoft Word is automatically copyrighted). However, when it comes to titles, they’re too de minimis to be copyrightable. That is why you may see the same title for multiple books or films.

Can You Copyright a Character?

The short answer is yes,

But like most things in the law, what you need to make your characters copyrightable is more complicated than it may first appear. That’s because there have been several tests that have developed over the last near-century. They have admittedly led to confusion. Below is a brief summary of tests from the Second Circuit and Ninth Circuit.

Continue reading HERE

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