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How would I check to see if a company name has already been copyrighted ?

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BelleCarolinaPeridot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 02:08 AM
Original message
How would I check to see if a company name has already been copyrighted ?
Edited on Tue Jun-10-08 02:12 AM by CarolinaPeridot
I have decided to finally get on the good foot and start my own graphic design company.Not because I am broke (I am tired of being broke) but because everything that I have designed for the past 10 years has been sitting in my closet and I want my work to be seen.I am also designing t-shirts and other apparel. I want to make poster prints,decals,art books ANYTHING to get my work distributed.I am starting out small with a CafePress store (and Zazzle too,every bit helps) and fingers crossed that someone big sees my work and helps me get it distributed.

I have the coolest name for my company but I really want to check and see if its already in use.I already used google and so far so good.I just came up with it about 15 minutes ago - I can't sleep and the name just came to me like "Oh shit that sounds good!". Is there a way I can contact the Library of Congress (I know that's where I sent the info to get my songs copyrighted) directly or do I just try to buy the trademark/copyright for the name ASAP? Any info will help. Thanks !

Edited because I was hyper and in need of sleep when I posted it the first time.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. You don't copyright a company name.
But you can register a business (something that's done on the state level), and you can search your state's website (through the state's secretary of state page) to see if anybody already has the name.
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bluesbassman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. This is correct.
You can trademark a company name here: http://www.uspto.gov/
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yep. Specifically,
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BelleCarolinaPeridot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thanks !
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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 03:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. to do it correct you have to get up off your wallet (i know) and hire a lawyer...
Edited on Tue Jun-10-08 03:45 AM by CasualWatcher9
cheapest case scenario? register the website name.

www.coolest name for my company.com

that doesn't buy you much, but its a start. check out legalzoom.com

i have no experience with these folks, but one of the pitchmen is one of the fucks that got oj off for killing his wife. they must be good.


good luck...

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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-10-08 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Good luck with your business too...
CasualWatcher9 has it about right...

cheap way... register the website name. In fact because it's so dirt cheap to register a name it'd be one of the first things to do.

Then it's off to registering a "Doing Business As" name. Here in Guilford County (Greensboro, NC), it's done at the Register of Deeds and is also quite cheap. They call it Assumed Name here.

Legalzoom.com is a good way to go if you don't want to do all the legwork or your state or county make it more complicated.

Mark.

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