Can i trademark a character name [Expert Answers]

Last updated : Sept 29, 2022
Written by : Kenny Iglesias
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Can i trademark a character name

Can a fictional character be trademarked?

A fictional character, similar to a graphic character, cannot obtain trademark protection for its own protection, but may only be protected when the trademark indicates a particular source of goods and services.

Are characters trademarked or copyrighted?

Fictional characters can, under U.S. law, be protected separately from their underlying works. This is based on the legal theory of derivative copyrights. To obtain this type of protection, a creator must prove that the characters are sufficiently unique and distinctive to merit this protection.

Can I copyright a character?

Copyright protection is available to both characters that have been solely described in writing, as well as characters depicted in a visual or graphic form. What is required is that the character in question possesses original or a set of distinctive traits, and visual representation is not essential.

Can you trademark a character design?

Trademark law will not permit a graphic character to be trademarked solely for its own protection, however, it does permit the character's name and likeness to be trademarked when the function of that trademark is to indicate the source of the products and services bearing that mark.

How much does it cost to trademark a character?

How Much Does It Cost To Trademark a Character? The USPTO offers two methods of filing a trademark application: TEAS Plus, which costs $250 per trademark class. TEAS Standard, costing $350 per trademark class.

How do you protect a character's name?

In order to secure a trademark for a character, you must use its name, image, or both to brand your products and services. For example, the “MICKEY MOUSE” name and image are both trademarks owned by Disney.

Is the name Harry Potter trademarked?

Warner bros trademarked the name Harry Potter in 1999 when filming for Harry Potter and the sorcerers stone began. The Harry Potter trademark applies to the following categories: Motion picture films, including animated films.

What characters are not trademarked?

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • The Little Mermaid.
  • Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella.
  • Aladdin, Sinbad, and the Hunchback.
  • Ebeneezer Scrooge.
  • Classic Monsters.
  • Sherlock Holmes.

Is the name Spider-Man trademarked?

In mainstream Marvel Comics continuity, Miles Morales shares the Spider-Man name with its originator Peter Parker - with his blessing. But back in October 6's Amazing Spider-Man #75 (opens in new tab), it was revealed that the Beyond Corporation has bought the trademarks and copyrights to Spider-Man.

Where do I go to copyright a character?

  • Set up a free account on the Copyright Office website.
  • Hit Register on the homepage.
  • Select the appropriate category.
  • Fill out the registration form.
  • Use your credit card to pay the associated fees.
  • Upload a copy of your work in a proper format.

Are Disney character names copyrighted?

To sum it up, all intellectual property rights on the brands, characters, titles, and other properties of Disney are owned by the Walt Disney Company and its affiliates and cannot be used. Disney's anti-piracy clause restricts: Titles.

Can I draw a cartoon character and sell it?

Any commercial use of a copyrighted cartoon character without permission of the copyright holder is a violation of law. This includes the sale of any drawings or art works, either by themselves or in some other form such as on a T-shirt, team logo, advertisement, billboard, or promotional design.

Are character names protected by copyright?

IANAL disclaimer but generally character names themselves cannot be copyrighted. They may be trademarked but only if the literary work/movie/or a related product were named after the character. So, trademark would only come into play for secondary characters in widely merchandised works.

Should I trademark or copyright my cartoon character?

Cartoons and comic strips are among the types of works of authorship protected by copyright. This protec tion extends to any copyrightable pictorial or written expression contained in the work. Thus a drawing, picture, depiction, or written description of a character can be registered for copyright.

Is it copyright infringement to draw a character?

For characters, the character only becomes protected under copyright law once it becomes a unique expression, i.e. drawing your own rendition of something or adding certain attributes.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

How do I copyright a name for free?

You can not register a trademark for free. However, you can establish something known as a "common law trademark" for free, simply by opening for business. The benefit of relying on common law trademark rights is that it's free, and you don't need to do any specific work filling out forms, etc.

Do authors own the rights to their characters?

You keep all rights unless you give them away. So, read your contracts. But, no, it's not normal for a publisher to ask for character rights. You own the rights to anything you create unless you sign them over in a contract to another party.

Are fictional town names copyrighted?

Names are not copyrighted. a copyright fully protects an entire work of authorship, i.e. a book, movie or work of art.

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Can i trademark a character name

Comment by Doretta Nipp

well marki dragon also knows Marcus Eikenberry in real life and welcome to my backyard this is the lake I have back here you know I saw three giant turtles back here the other day all three of them together they look like they're probably about ten pounds each they were huge I've never seen Turtles in real life that were that big other than I like a tortoise at the zoo or something like that but these were water turtles and you know I don't see them out here today and they're actually quite skittish I opened up my window in my office to to look at them a little bit better and when I opened up my window they heard it and they all ducked under the water you know so be it so let's talk about trademark and not the boring stuff let's talk about your character name in the game and whether or not you can trademark that name I have a question here from Tom and he says trademarking a user name hey Marky I just want to ask quick question about usernames I've been looking into the business of online entertainment and I'm sure you'll agree having the rights to your name is an important part of becoming serious about it so I wanted to ask how you go go about trademarking a user name well so as you guys know you know I have trademark for the name Marky dragon and I mentioned that a couple of times I have never ever had to enforce the trademark I've thought about it a couple of times but I've never ever had to enforce the name and the trademark protects you from someone else doing business under that name or sullying that name by impersonating you and doing doing things that you know make you look less than savory to the public and everything and so the trademark is is good in that respect now I can tell you that because I've had trademark in my name is trademarked and I'm in the video game industry that all kinds of people all the time or always using my name in the games and in fact I got I got asked the other day about that third party ultima online shard that just sprung up there like hey marquee dragons running around in there you know blah blah blah it was so nice to meet you in-game and stuff and I'm like I ain't there it wasn't me but and there's nothing I can do about that I mean honestly other than to enforce the trademark to force the game companies or the you know or in this case you know the private people that are running this third party shard to reserve my name or to block it out from use or whatnot and you know honestly I think that you know if I went like in Guild Wars you know somebody took my name and and it really pissed me off it really did but you know if I had gone to them and said hey you know this is my name I want to make sure it's reserved and everything they'd look at me like I was probably crazy and probably the best I could get done by them was two would be to ban the user name or market as reserved or even I couldn't get it because then how do I prove that I'm the one who has trademark and all that stuff and they're legal people and who wants to go through all that BS they don't they want to operate a game they don't care what your user name is so you know it is kind of funny about how it can protect you you won't protect your name in the games for the most part but it will protect your name in business and so if people start doing any commerce through using your name then you can bring down the hammer so now how to go about getting a trademark you go to if you're in the United States you go to the US Patent and Trademark Office and you can google that then you have to submit a bunch of forms on that and everything and there's a filing fee gosh it's like 400 bucks or something like that I don't remember the exact fee it's been several years that I've had my trademark and and I didn't fill out the paperwork myself I'm not that smart the the the paperwork that goes with this is just a couple of forms but then you have to do this research part and this research part has to go out and investigate and exhaustively search for other similar trademarks and and you have to vet that there is no other company or person that has a trademark that is similar that there could be a cause for confusion and of course no exact matches so that is kind of a dilemma that that a lot of people don't know how to do that I certainly don't know how to do that and it would be if you get it wrong and they deny you here's part of the issue with with this stuff is that when you submit your trademark application it becomes public record if you get denied I have heard of people getting denied and other people swooping in and picking stuff up and so you have to get it right the first time no I don't know how real that is whether that was just you know my lawyers telling me that that you know that's an issue and so I need to let them do it and everything but that was that was the deal trademarks can cost with the firm with a law firm or a lawyer doing it between 1,500 and 3,000 dollars per trademark so and then there's there's there's trademark beyond that you can trademark not just a name you can trademark an image or a logo and so you know there's there's precedents for that and and you may want to trademark a logo but you know many not many smaller companies may go through several logo changes before they come across one that they really like and so and that because that gets into the whole brand awareness thing with marketing which is very very costly it's probably the most costly form of marketing which is like brand awareness and when you go and try and do it on YouTube or television or whatever it just it really is I believe the most expensive kind of marketing so anyway you know yes you want to be serious about your business but at the same time I have this philosophy and that is that when you're starting up a business of course you get your business license and you register with the Secretary of State if you need to and and that other stuff but you keep things very very minimal on the legal costs until you're making money and then once you've proven that your business is going to work then you know and it's going to be profitable then you start spending money on the lawyers for things like protection of your of you know the company entity and protection of your trademark and copyright SIF you need them and other stuff like that or patents so and patents can be very expensive and I'm just pulling this number off the top of my head but I think that I remember hearing 15 to 20 thousand dollars with legal fees for patents so you know it's very very costly and you need that money to make sure that your business is successful right off the bat and so you know once you realize that there's success then then submit for all of that stuff so hope that answers your question I'm Monica dragon take care if you made it this far in the video you may as well subscribe that's what I want you to do you obviously liked it well enough to watch it this far so look at this this is Frostmourne as the runes magic sword this rings magic sword is one that we're giving away as second prize to one of you subscribers just for being subscribed that's all you dudes subscr

Thanks for your comment Doretta Nipp, have a nice day.
- Kenny Iglesias, Staff Member

Comment by Alphonse


Thanks Alphonse your participation is very much appreciated
- Kenny Iglesias

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