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Understanding copyright and how it protects your company’s name

When starting a business, it’s normal to ask yourself – “Do I need to copyright my company name?.” The answer to that question is a resounding no. Why? Let’s start by understanding the concept of copyright and learn a bit about how copyright benefits a business.

What is copyright?
Copyright is a way to protect your intellectual property when they are original works. Depending on the license, it gives others the right to copy your content—either free or for a price. Copyright is very different from trademarking and protects your original ideas in literary, performing, and visual arts, along with digital content and architectural works.

While many people think that they can copyright company names, it is not true. Trademarking is the way to protect your company’s name. As soon as you publish the company name, you can claim ownership of the name under common law. This means filing a trademark is not really necessary but is advised to protect your business. Trademarks help you provide a legal claim of nationwide ownership, giving you and only you the right to use the name and the logo.

Now that we’ve cleared out why you cannot copyright the company name, let’s understand why it’s important to copyright the company’s work to protect its brand.

Why should your company be copyright protected?

  • You get ownership: When you copyright the company’s work, it means you have complete ownership over it. Anyone using your company’s content cannot do so without seeking your permission. With a particular license, you can use this as a source of income for the fair use of your copyrighted company name. It also means that you can replicate, perform, or display your content anywhere you want.
  • It creates a public record of your company’s name: Another reason to copyright your company’s work is to ensure that your work is on public record. This allows others to know that your work is protected, and any infringement would result in a lawsuit.
  • All work comes with a copyright registration: Once your company’s work is copyrighted, you can display the copyright symbol (©) on it. From your website to your content, everything can be copyrighted. This also makes it clear that any copyright infringement can lead to legal troubles, discouraging others from earning profits off of your efforts.

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