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The use of "Yellow Submarine" as a book title

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by ericnghiem, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. ericnghiem

    ericnghiem Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Dear all,
    As title shows, I have a question regarding to the use of "Yellow Submarine" as a book title. I am from Vietnam and writing a book. I would love to use "Yellow Submarine" in Vietnamese translation as the title of my book. However, I know that "Yellow Submarine" is trademarked by Subafilms. So please kindly advise me whether it is legal to use this name (in translation) or not?
    Thank you in advance. Much appreciated.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You answered your question in the declarative you penned before the question that followed.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not.

    You wouldn't consider asking for consent, perhaps paying a licensing fee, would you?
     
  4. ericnghiem

    ericnghiem Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is because I read this article: Are Song Titles & Lyrics Protected by Copyright or Trademark Law?
    in which the author mentioned about this song title with an example of it being used by an unrelated restaurant, so I think there may be a solution.
    Thank you.
     
  5. ericnghiem

    ericnghiem Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. I did a general research on Google but didn't find out how to pay the licensing fee for it. Do you have any clue?
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You're posting from OZ:
    Country: Australia State/Region: Victoria City: Melbourne

    I am licensed to practice law in your country and hold the QC designation.

    I suggest you discuss your concerns with one of the fine Australian brothers and sisters at the bar.
     
  7. ericnghiem

    ericnghiem Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for your advice. I will do. Chose my jurisdiction as Asia because my book would be published in Vietnamese in Vietnam though. I read that article above after Google searching then happened to find out this forum.
    Have a good one.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Spent 4 years in the shit hole nation fighting VC, NVR, ChiComs.

    From what I hear, just about ANYTHING goes there from fake Rolex watches, Luis Vuitton items, Nike, you name, its counterfeited.
     
    Disabled Vet likes this.
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    For starters, I know nothing about Vietnamese trademark law (nor does anyone else who posts here). In fact, I don't know much of anything about any country's laws other than the U.S.

    As far as U.S. trademark law is concerned, you are not precluded from using Yellow Submarine as a book title just because there is a song and movie by the same name. In fact, you could even write a song by that name and be ok. If you're publishing your book through a publisher, the publisher will run clearance on the title and content of the book. If you're self-publishing, you would be well advised to retain the services of an intellectual property lawyer.
     
    army judge likes this.
  10. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm familiar with the article on whether song titles are able to copyrighted or trademarked. You should note that there are no absolute conclusions reached with the exception of some extreme examples.

    Disclaimer: I actually owned the "Yellow Submarine" book when I was younger and it was one of my favorite possessions.

    Let's begin by discussing what type of intellectual property we're talking about. Trademark means a brand, e.g. source of origin - an identifier for products and services. If you were selling books under the guise of "Yellow Submarine" publishing company, you've raised a trademark issue. But if you've titled your book "Yellow Submarine" which sums up your dreams about wanting to be a submariner, that's actually a work of authorship and copyright question, not a trademark question. However, there can be implications regarding trademark rights and usage as sometimes these unique titles can be trademarked too.

    The article discusses the type of words and the usage and what is the thinking behind intellectual property protection. "On the road again" is a more generic phrase. Removing those words from language is problematic and not within the spirit of the type of original works that the law intends to protect. How could we reserve those words for one party? Now if you using the title of a song for another song that is highly unusual, unique and not generally within common communication - "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - then issues may arise. The courts will decide the boundaries. The title "Yellow Submarine" in the above context may be a challenging case to prosecute.

    As to international copyright and trademark laws, those are usually subject to a treatise. If your intention is to enter the United States using Yellow Submarine in some fashion, then be aware of what barriers you may have for use.
     

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