Intellectual property lawyers: What cannot be copyrighted?
Hi everyone, my name is David Miller. I run our business law department here at Amazon Sellers Lawyer, also known as the law firm of Rosenbaum Famularo, PC.
Recently, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about copyright complaints… What’s copyrightable, what is not?
So I wanted to go through a short list of some material that is NOT copyrightable:
- Now the first thing on my list is ideas, methods, or systems.
If you’re referring to just an idea or a method, it is not copyrightable. A classic example is an invention. The reason why an invention is not copyrightable is because another form of intellectual property protects inventions and that is called patents.
- The second thing on my list is names, titles, and short phrases.
Obvious reasons anyone uses a name or a short phrase, for example, there’s no copyright protection. I can’t copyright my name, my name is David. I can’t copyright someone else’s name or a short phrase like, Been there, done that.”
- Third, fonts and lettering.
So if you create a new font, generally, not copyrightable material. Blank forms, any sort of form, not copyrightable.
- And lastly, familiar signs and designs.
So, a shape, for example, a circle, square, any sort of sign that you see all the time, like a stop sign, not copyrightable material.