Note: Since BAIPA’s morning Q & A is so valuable, we thought it might be a good idea to compile and curate these crowd-sourced answers and publish them in a book. To see if that idea has merit, we’re going to start by regularly publishing Q&As from our meetings in this blog and soliciting your comments. These first few Q&As are tests — we’re trying out different formats, so please chime in with your thoughts. (
Q: Can copyright the title of my book?
(Anyone remember who asked this question?)
John Byrne Barry: My understanding is that you cannot copyright the title of a book. Let me use my own experience. I published a book called Wasted, a “green noir” mystery set in the recycling world of Berkeley. There were already many books titled Wasted. One was about being a drunk, another was about anorexia.
Ruth Schwartz: That’s right, you cannot copyright a title, but you can trademark products associated with your books. Like logos.
Bob Heyman: You can trademark a series of books, but not the title. You can also trademark your publishing company. It will probably cost you about $250. There’s also a search engine for trademarks at www.uspto.gov/.
Judy Baker: Don’t worry about someone copying you, stealing your idea. What’s far more likely is that no one knows who you are.