Why copyrighting a business name is not what you think, and how to protect your brand name the correct way.

By Product Dragon—Nonprofit helping ethical product innovators

Can you actually copyright a company name?

There’s frequent confusion between trademarking and copyrighting, leading many people to ask how to copyright their company name.

Only a registered trademark can protect a business name. Copyright protects the original creative expression contained within a work of authorship, such as a book or movie. Likewise, you cannot “patent a name,” as patents protect ideas rather than brands.

Important: Check if you even qualify for a U.S. trademark

Trademark qualification score

A good first step to protecting your brand name is to assess your eligibility before using any registration service. The free Trademark Application Qualification System (TAQS) is a fast way to gain clarity on your approval likelihood, cost and ti