Can I Patent a Name?

Naming Generally

It is common for most people to confuse patent, trademark and copyright protection when it comes to naming. A person might attempt to patent a name of a business, music group, product or other business purposes. However, patents do not afford protection for names. Patents generally protect inventions and ideas. Names would be protected by a trademark registration.

Trademarks Generally

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the examining bureau for trademark applications. Technically, a person can use a trademark by utilizing the trademark symbol (™). However an official trademark application must be filed with the USPTO in order for a mark to obtain a registered status. Registered marks that have been approved by the USPTO use a registered symbol ®.

Registered Trademarks

A mark is registered after the USPTO determines that the application requirements have been met. A mark with a registered status provides legal protection in the event that a dispute arises about the origin of the mark.