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SS Legal Advisor
SS Legal Advisor, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Caseworker at DL Solicitors
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I have a question on copyright law. No. I've released and

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Hi. I have a question on copyright law.
JA: Do you have a registration record?
Customer: No. I've released and online course and discovered somebody else has one with the same name. Need to know where I stand.
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks
Hello,
I am an experienced legal advisor and I am happy to answer your question.Copyright would apply to the whole training course not just the name. You can of course change the name and would likely be fine in terms of the copyright.Copyright isn't the issue but passing off would be an issue with having the same name. As they seem to have been established before you, they could argue that you are trying to steal their customers and can sue you.I'd suggest a name change of the course to protect yourself.Kind regards
S
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
May I give a little more detail?Before releasing my course I checked for trademarks and also Googled the name. Let's pretend it's called WeldStarter.I found a dormant Facebook group (no recent posts) by that name which did reference a domain name, say www.WeldStarter.com. I went to that domain and there was nothing on it, and I was actually able to buy the domain myself.I've since discovered that the owner of the other course also mentions www.WeldStarter.com on her LinkedIn profile. But she obviously decided against renewing the domain in June 2019.If it's still the case that I should change the name, would it be sufficient to call it, for example TheWeldStarter or WelderStarter, to minimise changes to branding? If I went for TheWeldStarter, would I still have to change logos that say WeldStarter?Many Thanks
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Just checking my followup question went through?
All received.It's possible that she is not even running the course anymore.But to be safe it would not be okay to still call it the weld starter or similar variations.If you want to be fully protected from a passing off law suit then I would rebrand and change the logo to match of course.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thanks. I'm pretty sure she's not actively promoting hers any more. Otherwise I would have expected her to renew the domain.She has been in touch to say she "doesn't foresee a problem" and will come back to me tomorrow. If she confirms in writing that she has no issue with my branding, is that sufficient to continue as I am?Thanks
that would be sufficient assuming you don't then actively poach her clients.
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