I am a teacher who has created an acronym to help students in elementary school with writing an essay. I am working for the school district and I am sharing this acronym with other teachers in trainings. I don't want the district or someone else to take credit for the acronym.
Generally, copyright does not protect short phrases or names, at least by themselves, although use of a short phrase may be copyright infringement of a larger work.
A short phrase or name may be a trademark, however, trademarks typically are based on use in commerce, or for example a U.S. trademark application filing which becomes a constructive use after a U.S. trademark application matures into registration, which occurs after a trademark has been used in commerce.
You should discuss with an intellectual property attorney in a private consultation.
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The Copyright Office or USPTO would probably accept your registration:
Whether either would stand up in litigation about alleged infringement would be another question.
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Funny, we got almost the same question a couple of weeks ago. I do not think you can protect an acronym by trademark or copyright. I am imagining "egbdf" - every good boy does fine = for reading piano music. Copyright protects an original creative expression like a poem, a story, a painting, a sculpture, song that is fixed in a tangible medium (paper, canvas, recording tape, software). I don't think an acronym to help students write essays rises to a creative level required for a copyright, but hey, I could be wrong... You can always try. Find an experienced copyright attorney and discuss in confidence, not on a public forum such as Avvo. As for trademark, not applicable yet, a trademark is a brand name, logo, indicator of source of goods or services. i.e. Nike swoosh, or McD's Golden Arches, people see them and know it is a Nike product or a McDonalds restaurant. Your acronym could become a trademark if/when you were selling goods or services and used the acronym like a Nike swoosh.
Peace be with you, and may love guide you.
In all likelihood, an acronym probably does not qualify for a copyright, but it might be eligible for registration as a trademark. A mnemonic phrase might be eligible for both copyright and trademark protection.
—A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design used in trade that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. —Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.
For your interest:
—"Can I trademark or copyright acronym phrases?" at https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/authorized/can-i-trademark-or-copyright-acronym-phrases--2956978.html
— An overview of the basic concepts of copyright at: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf
I feel like you recently asked this question right? Copyright is not going to apply here.
And you can't coin a phrase or protect an acronym unless that is actually being used as a trademark (e.g., Just Do It or T.G.I.F.).
In short, you cannot protect this other than through contract law.
If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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