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How does the copyright of a company name work?

Postby kubrick19 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:57 pm

White Belt
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:19 pm
Hi I was wondering how the copyright of a company name works, and how it can be protected for similar uses of similar products. I'm a web developer and was wondering about how copyright and names can apply to web applications.

The best way to get across my question would be to give you an example situation. Let's say someone's building a social networking site called "Philanthropist" where people can post about all the philanthropic activity they participate in, sharing and learning about others philanthropic work. But since the web domain www.Philanthropist.com isn't available and is a squatter site, the developer buys www.usePhilanthropist.com until they could reach the success of buying www.Philanthropist.com from whoever owns it currently.

What would the developer need to do (or could he even) to ensure his use of "Philanthropist" with a social network meant to share philanthropy was safe under copyright so another company couldn't use the same name for the same type of website? Or is that name too general and/or already used by others so it wouldn't work?

If I haven't been clear about anything or if you'd need more information please let me know. I'd really appreciate any insights I'm going to be in this situation shortly.