Can the word "Harvard" infringe copyright law

mastertanvir

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I am going to start a web agency. There I want to use the word "Harvard" in the agency name. My agency and me will not have any relation with Harvard University. Nothing will be related with harvard university.

I checked there website about the copyright but didn't find the specific answer I am looking for.

Can anyone tell me can it violates the copyright law?
 

Gogol

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A quick search shows it's a surname.
Code:
https://www.definitions.net/definition/Harvard

I don't think one can copyright a surname. Unless what you are doing is related to Harvard university, or it defames the institution in some way; I don't think they will do something about it. Take my advice with a grain of salt though. Not a copyright lawyer, and copyright can be funny sometimes.
 

Unreliable Witness

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Search for "Harvard Trademark Program".

Marks and copyrights are usually contextual. So if you're trying to pass off as Harvard University or trying to insinuate that you have some connection with it, that would infringe their rights. If you're using the name for some other reason (such as a surname), then you would be within the law.

In most countries you can register a mark so that it becomes a "registered trademark". The advantage of this is that it becomes easier to asset your right to a mark since how it can be used by you is recorded in a registry (thus needing to go to court to ascertain whether a certain use belongs to one party or another). Registered marks are only valid in countries where they have been registered. So a mark registered only in the UK doesn't have any additional protection in any other country.

Remember though that going to court is a way of solving disputes, and that anyone can dispute anything (i.e. take you to court) whether they are right or wrong in law. So although you might be legally entitled to use a word in your business name, that doesn't prevent some other organisation from challenging your right (threatening to take you to court). Because going to court is expensive and distracting, you need deep pockets to fight.
 

mastertanvir

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I talked with a dmca expert. He assured me that as long as I am not using the website for any educational purpose, it will not infringe any copyright issue.
I think he is correct. Because on Harvard website I found they only describe about educational copyright issue.
 

Gogol

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I talked with a dmca expert. He assured me that as long as I am not using the website for any educational purpose, it will not infringe any copyright issue.
I think he is correct. Because on Harvard website I found they only describe about educational copyright issue.
Yepp that makes sense. Since your product is unrelated, just don't worry.
 
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