Q: Book Title

Hi. I have a question about intellectual property and copyright. If I’ve written a book, how do I know if my book title is taken or if it’s too similar to other book titles? For example could I title it “The Adventures of Ozzy, the Big Blue Dog” or would that be in violation of the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” books ??

1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick
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Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: The short answer is that it depends on how litigious the rights holders would be. Based solely on the information in this this hypothetical, your risk of infringement would be low. That said, characters are subject to copyright protection so an A-to-B comparison of the character(s) would need to happen to give you a better answer.

It's possible that Ozzy Osbourne would take issue with "Ozzy" based on a potential rights-of-publicity claim.

Generally book titles are free to use unless character or likenesses are misappropriated; or if the book title is also used as a trademark by someone. Again, these are general principles. You should speak to a qualified IP attorney like myself before engaging in this business venture any further.

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