How much does it cost to copyright a name in the UK?

How much does it cost to copyright a name in the UK?
March 10, 2023 sandersons

People often ask how much does it cost to copyright a name in the UK?  The simple answer is nothing… 

Copyright exists automatically, and you do not need to register it, but it is a vast and complex area of law.

You do not copyright a name in the UK.  Copyright protection applies automatically and you do not have to apply for it or pay any fee. There is no official register of copyright works in the UK.

What is protected by Copyright?

Copyright applies to original work such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work. Generally, copyright protection starts from when the work was created and lasts until 70 years after the author’s death.

For copyright to exist a work must be original, and for there to be infringement of copyright, copying must have taken place.  A very short text such as a name is usually not protected.

If you want to stop somebody else copying your work you, then will need to be able to prove that

  • You own the copyright and can provide a timeline for that
  • Your work is original
  • The other party knowingly copied your work

Who owns the Copyright?

The copyright is owned by the creator, or their employer, unless the copyright is assigned to another party.  For example, if a designer creates a logo for you, the copyright of that logo remains property of the designer unless they assign the copyright to you.

It is important to keep careful records to establish evidence of the date of creation so that you can prove when and by whom it was created.

It is not essential to use a copyright symbol on your work, but where possible we would advise you mark the work with the Copyright (or ©), the author and the date of creation.  e.g. Copyright Sandersons 2023 or © Sandersons 2023

Copyright or Trade Mark?

If you would like to protect a business name, word or logo, then you may want to consider applying for registered trade mark protection. A registered trade mark offers more robust protection for your company name and brand and it is generally easier to enforce than copyright or other unregistered IP rights.

Why register a trade mark?

  • Protect many aspects of your branding including your company name and logo
  • Exclusive legal ownership of your brands
  • Prevent others using your registered trade mark
  • Registered trade marks are valuable assets
  • Extend your trade mark rights internationally
  • Protect your investment in building the reputation and goodwill of your business
  • Stop others holding you to ransom

Find out more about trade mark registration

Can we help?

Our intellectual property specialists can help you navigate the various aspects of the process that need outside assistance – such as the ownership and enforcement of copyright.

Although copyright doesn’t need to be registered and doesn’t involve any fees, it is limited in scope and defending it can be extremely complex and expensive.  If it is possible to protect your creation with registrable IP rights such as trade marks and registered designs, these offer more robust protection, and are worth the investment.

Our team is happy to assess your specific case and provide cost information accordingly upon request.


Useful links


Registered Designs

Registered Trade Marks