I was daydreaming about having a bakery the other day: what it'd look like, advertising, business name, etc. I looked up some of the regulations for business names, looked up one I had in mind, and have a question. How does the copyright work if it's from another country? I figure it'd be about the same here, but everything I find on the net confuses me. On the bakery site it says copyright 2006. How would I find out if it's still copyrighted? Maybe they just didn't updated it on the website? They can expire right? Do they give a grace period for the owner to renew it before people can use it again? KWIM??? Sorry for all the question! I tried looking it up on here, but all I could find was about people making trademarked cakes. TIA!!!
Copyright protects creative works, like written articles, logos, and web site designs. When looking at business names, the main issue is whether or not anyone has trademarked the name, you don't really need to worry about copyright unless you copy content from the web site word-for-word, or copy a logo or site design.
Keep in mind that it might not make sense to copyright or trademark a name if someone else is already using it. If you trademarked a name, then told other people who had already been using it to stop, they could challenge you in court becasue they were using the name first.
Just because someone has copyright on their website, it doesn't mean their name is trademarked. And if it is, and they are in another country, they should have applied for an international trademark to prevent someone else somewhere in the world using it. If it is internationally trademarked, you cannot use it unless you want to get into trouble. Problem is, I am not sure how you find out if their business name is internationally trademarked.
You can search international trademarks at the link below, but it is highly unlikely a bakery would apply for such a trademark unless they had significant wholesale volume globally.
Within the European Union there is the concept of a "community trademark" that is valid for all EU member countries, you can search for community trademarks below if you are doing business in the EU:
Thanks everyone! The bakery that has the copyright is in Australia, so I'll check out the international search.
How do I copyright a name, title, slogan or logo?
Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks.