Can i trademark my software [Beginner's Guide]

Last updated : Sept 13, 2022
Written by : Santiago Pillion
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Can i trademark my software

Do trademarks protect software?

Trademarks can protect the name of a software company, its products and taglines, and prevent competitors from using similar names. Trademarks protect software brands, but not the software or code itself.

Can I trademark my app name?

When you're trademarking your app, you're protecting yourself from anyone else from using a similar or confusing name to yours. The particular design or functionality of an app may be subject to copyright or patent protection, but a trademark protects the name of your app, or, the logo associated with your app.

What items Cannot be trademarked?

  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Can open source software be trademarked?

As many countries provide some form of basic protection for unregistered (common law) trademarks, nearly any free or open-source software title may be trademarked under common law. This list covers software whose trademarks are registered under a country's intellectual property body.

How can I protect my software?

  1. Patenting Your Software.
  2. Patent as early as possible.
  3. Not all patents are equal.
  4. Software Escrows.
  5. Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets.
  6. Invest in IP Research.
  7. Get a reliable legal advisor.
  8. Trademark Registration.

Should software be copyrighted or patented?

Any software program, whether there is an inventive aspect involved or not, is protected under copyright. However, the dilemma of whether to opt for patent protection arises when there is an inventive aspect associated with a software product or a process.

Should you trademark your app?

It Gives Users More Assurance to the Users A trademarked app or logo means no other developer (other than you) can publish apps under the same banner. This will give more confidence to users regarding the quality of an app and give users more reasons to try out different apps from the same developers.

Should I copyright my app?

You should consider registering your original work with the U.S. copyright office, because you cannot sue for copyright infringement unless your work is registered. Additionally, app copyright registration makes you eligible for statutory damages up to $150,000 and attorney's fees in such a suit.

Do I need to trademark an app?

Trademarks protect the use of words or symbols associated with a particular product or service. Apps lend themselves to trademark protection, but not just for the name of the app. You may want to trademark the name of the services that your app provides.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What is not protected by trademark?

Generic terms are not protected by trademark because they refer to a general class of products rather than indicating a unique source.

Can a single word be trademarked?

A trademark registration with the USPTO is a registered trademark and gets marked with the registered trademark (®) symbol. You don't have to register a word with the USPTO to get trademark status. A word is a trademark if that word identifies a brand, regardless of whether the word itself is registered.

How do you copyright a project name?

To protect a trademark, you need to make sure no one else is already using the name by conducting an extensive search, then start using it. To obtain the optional registration, file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or in one or more US states, and wait to have it approved.

Can you trademark code?

Can I Trademark a QR Code? No, you cannot trademark a QR code by itself, because trademarks only protect names, logos and slogans.

Can I use the open source logo?

Most open source licenses do not address trademark or logo use. You may use project names or logos for discussion purposes, commentary, and even criticism. These are classic fair uses of a trademark.

Is software eligible to copyright?

It means that if you write any source code or compile any object code from your source code, then that code is automatically afforded copyright protection merely by virtue of you writing or compiling your code. Unlike patents, trade marks or designs, there is no need for you to register for copyright protection.

Is coding patented?

Is it true that software is not patentable? This is a common misconception. While the actual lines of code are not patentable, the functional aspects of software can be patentable. In fact, in 2020, 63% of patents issued in the United States were for software-related inventions.

Is software considered intellectual property?

What Kind of Intellectual Property is Software? The software itself — the actual code — is copyrighted intellectual property, and it might also be considered a trade secret. The person or company who created it doesn't need to register for a patent or trademark for its unauthorized use to be considered illegal.

Can my software be patented?

Under the current state of U.S. patent law, patents cannot specifically lay claim to software. For example a patent claim that recites "a software that performs functions X, Y, Z, etc." would not be allowed. However, a patent may lay claim to a computer system and processes performed by it.

How much does it cost to copyright software code?

While there is little explicit software copyright law at the federal level, federal copyright law provides protections for software authors, so long as they register their software copyrights. This registration is very straightforward and costs range from $35-$55 for one piece of software.

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Can i trademark my software

Comment by Curt Mele

i totally thought my trademark was protected until i realized that how do software patents and copyrights protect a programmer what's up and welcome back i'm james and i'm a self-taught software engineer and in this video i'm going to be talking about the differences between copyrights trademarks patents and i'm going to talk about how they are used to actually help protect you as a programmer now i'm not a lawyer so this is not legal advice these are my opinions now before we get started it's important to remember that when it comes to like copyrights and trademarks and patents that there are registered protections and that a lot of these protections also exist even if you don't register them but if you do not register them they can be harder to defend in court and sometimes you just won't even get it to court unless you actually have it registered so registering things makes it a lot more like robust and a sound protection compared to not registering it if you create something for example you likely have a copyright protection just by virtue of having created it but you don't have that time stamp in the books as to like when this copyright was approved and that it went through a process of vetting all right so now for the differences between like copyrights trademarks and patents let's start with trademarks trademarks are designed to protect like your logos the names of your service or you know brands products things like that the goal here is to prevent and avoid anything that could cause confusion over the brand by having two names that are very similar and having like one company being able to benefit off of the branding and the marketing and the goodwill of an already established company uh someone in the you know youtube sphere decided to start a company to teach and train about algorithms and named it very similarly to another company and did basically the same thing as that other company which caused confusion in the marketplace that is what trademarks are designed to prevent from happening now when it comes to copyrights it's a little bit different because we aren't necessarily dealing with you know the the aspects of like logos and brands but copyrights will protect things like your text the text that you write if you've you know written documents or you have a web page in the text on the webpage or pretty much anywhere that you have text if you have like a recipe and stuff so like your marketing materials your artwork your you know music basically it's like a visual or physical representation of something that is being protected by a copyright but not necessarily the concept for example i mentioned recipes in the case of a recipe the actual text if you have the recipe written out and that could be protected by copyright but the recipe itself like the ingredients and everything that goes into making it is not going to be protected so when it comes to like software the what a copyright is going to protect you is going to be on you know your artwork or even like the code that you write the actual physical code not what it's doing but the actual page of code and its contents could be copyrighted now when you're wanting to protect something like what that code is actually doing like the concepts or like the techniques the the strategies like how something is built the unique way things are processed and like the algorithms and stuff like that that is going to be where patents help you and protect your product and your concepts now this is also going to be one of the harder ones to get it's fairly easy to you know file a trademark in fact i filed my own trademark before and had a trademark um same with copyrights patents are going to go through a lot longer like review process because there's a lot more implications for patents that you know and making sure that you're patenting something unique because if someone builds off of your patent then you you know have rights and licensing that you know rights to the stuff that you've built now there are some downsides to you know having patents and how they affect the industry because they can be used to stifle innovation there are patent trolls that will go out and file a bunch of patents with no intention of actually building anything or bringing any products to the market but they just want to file patents so that if someone builds something similar they can try to profit off of that later and that you know creates a very costly situation where you have to have lots of you know people involved in lawyers to do like investigative work and figure out all the patent laws and stuff like that but these protections are really important because companies will spend millions of dollars in on their branding and on developing products and applications and you don't want someone to just be able to come in and copy what you know you've been working on you want to be able to protect your investment but you also have to remember that most of these only last for a certain amount of time for example the trademark that i had filed was valid for certain amount of time and i made a huge mistake and totally forgot about it and in the process of moving uh didn't you know see the notifications and everything and it lapsed so now that particular trademark is dormant that doesn't mean i don't have any protections for that trademark i still uh you know if i had showing that i was using that uh trademark and those logos and stuff i would still have protections and that would still give me you know at least documentation that i had had it trademarked which is better than not being active but an active trademark or patent or copyright is going to be much stronger to enforce and on the side of enforcement if you want to actually keep your protections you have to actively participate in protecting your trademarks and your patents from infringement if you see that infringement is happening and you don't do anything about it and you just let people you know keep abusing your trademark for example then you can run into problems where the courts won't actually support you because you aren't taking a reasonable amount of effort to protect and enforce your trademarks which is one of the reasons why companies are so aggressive with sending out takedown notices and things like that for like copyright infringement that's it for this video if you found it helpful hit the like button also check out one of these videos for information on how to grow your career as a software engineer and i'll see you in the next one latest

Thanks for your comment Curt Mele, have a nice day.
- Santiago Pillion, Staff Member

Comment by pravnuke

hey everybody its Steve chief paralegal here at Gerben law firm if you're looking to register a trademark for software you basically have two options you can run the search and file the application on your own or you can retain a lawyer to do that stuff for you if you make the decision to do it on your own I hope you'll check out some of these videos I made which should guide you through the process if nothing else they'll at least familiarize you with the USPTO the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office that you'll be using to run your search now at gurbin law firm we are undoubtedly bias that you should retain a trademark attorney but in an attempt to sell you on the point let's take a bird's eye look at the trademark registration process first is the trademark search then the application which is then reviewed by an examining attorney this examining attorney is checking to make sure your desired trademark would not create a likelihood of confusion those are the buzzwords their likelihood of confusion in the marketplace with a previously registered trademark I'm pointing this out because it doesn't take an exact match of your desired trademark to justify a rejection of your application so the idea of a trademark search is to get the broadest view possible of the trademark landscape see what types of similar marks have already been registered and then make a judgment call as to whether or not to proceed with the application a trademark attorney works day in and day out with the government so they've got the experience in training when it comes to what type of trademarks the government will accept or reject the second reason I'd recommend using an attorney is because the trademark application you submit to the USPTO is a legal document and therefore how it's written impacts the scope of your legal protection mistakes or misrepresentations on the application can cause the cancellation of your trademark years down the road even and that's not meant to be a scare tactic sales pitch it's just the honest truth but again registering a trademark without the assistance of an attorney is absolutely doable so I hope this video helped to answer some of the questions you may have had regarding a software trademark but even if you're thinking about going at it alone give Josh a call it's free consultation 800 2816 275 he'd be happy to hear from you thanks very much for watching and check back soon for more videos

Thanks pravnuke your participation is very much appreciated
- Santiago Pillion

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