I have been writing under a pen name, though none is public (internet) or published. Do I need to register or copywrite my pen name? It's pretty good and I don't want for anyone to use it–no, it's not something so common, but it's good. Plus, I am no longer friends with someone who knows the name and I don't want for him to use it.
Serious answers only!!!
Thanks in advance!
FYI: I want a pen name because the info is sensitive and I don't want certain people to associate details to me. Thanks anyways.
I'm not a lawyer but I don't think you can copyright a name; there's an explanation here:
Although that's the UK, I think it holds true for most places including the US. For example, there are two authors named James Patterson– one is a best selling novelist and the other is not, but he's still James Patterson.
However, I believe that if someone else used a name with an intent to deceive, a suit could be brought on the grounds that they were misleading people. For example, there was an artist named Keith Urban who was asked to modify his website because country singer Keith Urban (or at his lawyers) thought the way his site was set up, he was leading people to think he was the singer and were buying his artwork in that belief.
Here's a link to a US answer; it's about a band but I think the same thing would hold. In some cases a name can be trademarked, but you have to prove there is some value in the name to start with.
Hope this helps.