A question that is periodically asked of us is whether or not book titles are covered under copyright law. In general, the title of the book itself is not entitled to copyright protection. Copyright laws protect an original work of authorship or expression of an idea. Intellectual property law does not protect titles as easily or as comprehensively as it protects the contents of a literary work. However, trademark law and unfair competition law may provide some protection for the book title.
Typically, protection of a title for a single work is found in unfair competition law. Trademark law might also be found applicable if the author/publisher can demonstrate that the title has acquired secondary meaning. Additionally, a court may look at "likelihood of confusion" to assist in evaluation of the title to determine whether the public would be confused as to the source of the work.
Protection of a single title in general is not easy. More often, protection is provided for a series title (a title which runs through a series of books) under unfair competition and trademark laws. Trademark registrations are permitted for a series title.