How to Check for a Trademark on Amazon KDP
What was the last "original idea" anyone had these days?
You rarely see it in movies and books, it's getting more and more difficult to find "original ideas" with book titles.
When working with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you mustn't accidentally take a trademarked idea. Some people push the boundaries when it comes to an “original idea” and a parody, but there are smarter ways to prepare yourself.
Let’s break down the steps of checking a KDP Trademark so you’re more prepared with your next publication.
What is a KDP Trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, or design legally registered to a company. Only the owner of the trademark is allowed to profit from it.
If you publish a book, on a trademarked term, you are trying to profit off of someone else's hard work.
That's not cool for the trademark owner and is a big violation in KDP and can lead to your account termination. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when publishing so it's best to check every single time whenever you discover a new keyword.
Some examples of trademarks are:
Any movie, video game, TV shows
You want to invest time into checking for keywords that are trademarked because you don't want to go through the time of creating a book just to find out that it is trademarked.
How do I check for trademarks?
The first thing you want to do is check for trademarks that are "live" and not "dead" because those are expired.
Also, check the goods and services that are trademarked. Some trademarks apply for a certain category but not for books. What I mean by that is, you can have a trademark for a design or a game, but that trademark could not apply for a book.
The steps are as follows:
Visit the USPTO Trademark Database.
In the "search term" box, type in the word or phrase you want to check.
Be sure to select "Live" and not "Live and Dead."
Select Submit Query.
From there, you need to check the list of terms that show up in the database. Be sure to select each one and use them to see what the trademarks are being used for.
If there is one for Disney but the goods and services are being used for a video game, then you cannot create a video game product using the word "Disney."
An easy way to do that is to do a keyword search on the page (Control+F on a PC and Command+F on a Mac) and search for the word "book."
What you are specifically looking for is trademarks against books. If there is something trademarked against another product you should be safe.
You also want to make sure it's not a "class 16" type of trademark. Any keyword that has a "class 16" or "IC 016" means it's trademarked for a book and cannot be used in your title.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t make a pop-culture reference in the body of your text
Play it safe, do your KDP research
You want to be sure you're not setting yourself up for cancelation of your KDP or even worse, a lawsuit.
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