If you are so much into writing books, it’s definite that your books are the most valuable thing to you.
And why not?
After all, it’s your hard work and creativity that has gone into making the book.
So, if you think somebody might misuse your book title for their benefit, you might think of trademarking it.
And yes, in this article, we will have a discussion on how to trademark a book title.
And as usual, let’s look at the first things first!
What Is A Trademark?
Put simply, a trademark is a symbol or name that is used to indicate the source of a particular product.
In other words, it is a distinguishing feature of your product that distinguishes it from those of other producers.
For example, when we say ‘Apple’, the first thing that comes to our mind is the iPhone and iPad. This is because Apple has done a great job in trademarking its products.
Can You Trademark A Book?
The answer here isn’t a simple yes or no. The reason is that not all books are eligible for trademark protection. You can only trademark book titles that are part of a series.
However, if you have a standalone book, the title cannot be trademarked.
Why Can’t You Trademark A Standalone Book Title?
The reason is that the title of a standalone book is too generic to be trademarked. For example, if your book is titled “How to Train Your Dog,” someone else can write a book with a similar title, such as “How to Train Your Cat.”
In this case, both books will be about training pets, and the titles are too similar to warrant trademark protection.
Why Is It Possible To Trademark A Series Title?
The reason is that a series title is not too generic and can be easily distinguished from other titles. For example, the “Harry Potter” series is about a boy wizard, while the “Twilight” series is about vampires. These titles are not too similar, so they can be trademarked.
What Does It Mean To Trademark A Book Title?
When you trademark a book title, it means that you have the legal right to use that particular name for your book. Also, you have the right to prevent anyone else from using that name without your permission.
However, keep in mind that registering a book title as a trademark is different than copyrighting it. Copyrighting a book gives you the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and sell the book.
However, trademarking a book title just protects the name of the book and doesn’t give you any exclusive rights over the contents of the book.
How To Trademark A Book Title
Now that you know what a trademark is and why you might want to trademark your book title, let’s take a look at how you can go about doing it.
Step 1: Choose The Series Name
The first step is to choose the series name. This is the name that you will use to trademark your book titles. It’s important to choose a strong and unique name for your series that won’t be easily confused with other titles.
When selecting the series name, there are conditions to meet;
- The name shouldn’t be an already registered trademark.
- The title must be distinctive from others.
The USPTO has a Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database where you can check for any already registered trademarks. The database also provides details of pending trademark applications, so you can be sure that your desired series name is available for use.
Step 2: File A Trademark Application
Once you’ve chosen the series name, the next step is to file a trademark application. You can do this by filling out an online application form on the USPTO website.
Keep in mind that you will need to pay a filing fee when you submit your application. The fees vary depending on the type of trademark application you’re filing.
When filling out the application, you will need to provide some basic information about your book series, such as the title and author. You will also need to specify the class of goods or services that your trademark will apply to. In most cases, you will need to select the “book publishing services” category.
Step 3: Wait For Approval
Once you’ve filed the trademark application, it will take some time for it to be processed and approved. The USPTO typically takes between 12 and 18 months to review a trademark application.
However, this can vary depending on the workload of the USPTO and the complexity of your application. If your application is approved, you will be able to use the ® symbol next to your book title.
If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision or file a new application.
Step 4: Renew Your Trademark
Once your trademark is registered, you will need to renew it periodically in order to keep the registration active. The USPTO requires that trademarks be renewed every 10 years.
You can renew your trademark by filing a renewal application and paying the associated fees.
Trademarking a book title is a smart way to protect your intellectual property and prevent others from infringing on your rights.
So, that’s everything you need to know about trademarking a book title. By following these steps, you can ensure that your book series is protected from infringement.