Can a business have the same name as a book?

There is a book (and indeed also a journal) named Philosophical Investigations.

Could one name a business “Philosophical Investigations” without asking permission from the publishers of the above? Or are names of books free for the picking?

In general, book titles are noncopyrightable. Some may contained trademarked elements (like Star Wars or Star Trek), but if you avoid those, you don’t have to ask permission.

It’s possible that “Philosophical Investigations” itself is trademarked.

Just make sure it doesn’t have the same name as a superhero. People might run up to him and demand a muffin or a scone.

Yeah book names cannot be copyright. I once saw two books with the same title next to each other on a bookstore shelf. The title was “Sideshow” and one was by the fairly well-known SF author Sherri Tepper and the other was by someone else whose name began with a T.

But I guess they could be trademarked. I would consult a lawyer before opening a cafe called, say, “Harry Potter’s”. Or even “Hog’s Head Inn” (the one owned by Dumbledore’s brother).

What does it mean if a trademark is “dead”?

From here:

That probably doesn’t help.

Okay, thanks.