How To Trademark A TV Show Name?

How To Trademark A TV Show Name?

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Securing a trademark for your TV show name is an essential step in protecting your creative work and ensuring your show’s unique identity remains yours. In an industry where names carry significant brand value and recognition, a trademark helps prevent others from capitalizing on your success or causing confusion among viewers. This blog will guide you through the process of trademarking your TV show name, providing all the information you need. From popular series like “Game of Thrones” to iconic shows like “Friends,” many successful TV shows have trademarks to safeguard their brand.

Here’s to learning why and how to trademark a TV show name.

Why To Trademark a TV Show Name?

Trademarking a TV show name is really important in the entertainment world. It’s like locking in your own special name for your show, making sure nobody else can use it. Think about “Breaking Bad.” The folks behind it knew they had to trademark the name to keep it safe and stop others from using it. This legal move keeps your show’s name secure and stops any confusion or misuse.

Plus, having a trademarked name gives your show a strong identity. Take “Friends,” for example. That name is trademarked, and it’s a big reason why the show’s brand has stayed so strong even after all these years. It helps your show stand out and be remembered.

And it’s not just about keeping others from copying you. Trademarking your TV show name also makes it easier to market your show and make money from it. Look at “The Simpsons” – their trademarked name lets them sell all kinds of stuff, from T-shirts to toys, and make a ton of cash.

How To Trademark A TV Show Name?

  1. Decide How to File: First, consider your options for filing. You can choose to file directly through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), use a legal website, or seek assistance from an attorney. Each option has its pros and cons, so pick the one that best fits your needs.
  2. Review the Current Fee Schedule: Before submitting your application, make sure to review the current fee schedule set by the USPTO. Fees may vary depending on factors like the filing option you choose and the number of classes of goods or services your trademark will cover.
  3. Search for Similar Trademarks: Use the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to check if any similar trademarks already exist. This step is crucial to avoid potential conflicts and ensure that your TV show name is unique. TESS includes all registered trademarks, so you’ll get a comprehensive view of what’s already out there.
  4. Apply to Trademark a Phrase: Once you’ve confirmed that your TV show name is available, it’s time to file your trademark application. You can do this through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) portal. Be sure to include all required materials, such as a statement of use, examples of prior use, a drawing of the trademark, and the filing fee.
  5. Use Your Trademark: While your trademark application is pending, you can start using the TM (for goods) or SM (for services) symbols to indicate your claim to the mark. Once your trademark is officially registered, you can use the ® symbol to notify others of your trademark status.

For example, let’s say you’re producing a new TV show called “Dream Catchers.” Before launching the show, you decide to trademark the name to protect it from unauthorized use. By following the steps outlined above, you can secure exclusive rights to the name and ensure that it’s legally recognized as yours. This protects your show’s brand identity and helps you avoid potential legal disputes down the road.

How Much Does it Cost To Trademark A TV Show Name?

The cost of trademarking a TV show name depends on several factors, including the filing option you choose and the number of classes of goods or services your trademark will cover. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with each filing option:

  1. TEAS Plus: This option has a basic filing fee of $250. If you need to cover additional classes of goods or services, there’s an upfront fee of $125. With TEAS Plus, you’ll also have the advantage of receiving further communications via email.
  2. TEAS Reduced Fee: The basic filing fee for this option is $275. You have the flexibility to pay the additional fee of $125 for covering more classes of goods or services later on. Similar to TEAS Plus, you’ll also receive further communications via email.
  3. TEAS Regular: This option comes with a basic filing fee of $350. If you need to add classes of goods or services, there’s a separate fee. However, unlike TEAS Plus and TEAS Reduced Fee, you have the option to submit further application materials outside of the TEAS system.

For example, let’s say you’re trademarking the name of a TV show called “Starlight Adventures.” If you choose the TEAS Plus option and only need to cover one class of goods or services, your total cost would be $375 ($250 basic filing fee + $125 additional class fee). However, if you opt for the TEAS Regular option and need to cover multiple classes, your total cost would vary based on the number of classes you select.

What Is The Difference Between Copyrighting A Show Name And Trademarking A Show Name?

Copyrighting and trademarking are two distinct forms of legal protection that serve different purposes, especially when it comes to protecting a TV show name.

Copyrighting a TV show name primarily protects the expression of the idea embodied in the show, such as the script, dialogue, characters, and storyline. It gives the creator exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display their work. However, copyright does not protect short phrases, names, titles, or slogans, which are typically protected by trademark law.

On the other hand, trademarking a TV show name protects the brand identity associated with the show, including its name, logo, and any other distinctive features used to identify the source of the goods or services. Trademarks prevent others from using similar names or symbols in a way that could confuse consumers or dilute the brand’s reputation. Trademarks can also be renewed indefinitely, as long as they continue to be used in commerce.

How Much Does It Cost To Renew A Trademarked Show Name?

The cost of renewing a trademarked show name can vary depending on factors such as the filing option chosen and any additional classes of goods or services covered by the trademark. Typically, trademark renewals occur every 10 years, and the renewal fee must be paid to maintain the trademark’s active status.

The renewal fees for trademarks filed directly with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) vary based on the filing option selected:

  1. TEAS Plus: The renewal fee for TEAS Plus is $225 per class of goods or services.
  2. TEAS Reduced Fee: The renewal fee for TEAS Reduced Fee is $250 per class of goods or services.
  3. TEAS Regular: The renewal fee for TEAS Regular is $400 per class of goods or services.

It’s essential to keep track of your trademark’s renewal deadlines and budget accordingly for the renewal fees. Failure to renew a trademark can result in its expiration and loss of legal protection.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that trademark renewal fees may change over time, so it’s advisable to check the USPTO’s current fee schedule or consult with a legal professional for the most up-to-date information.

How To Monitor A Trademarked Show Name?

Monitoring a trademarked show name is crucial to safeguarding your intellectual property rights and ensuring that no unauthorized parties infringe upon your trademark. One effective method of monitoring involves setting up alerts through online monitoring services or tools provided by intellectual property organizations. These alerts notify you of any new trademark applications or registrations that may conflict with your trademarked show name, allowing you to take appropriate action to protect your rights.

Regular searches on databases such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can also help identify potential infringement issues. By conducting periodic searches, you can detect any trademarks that resemble or could be confused with your own, whether in terms of name, logo, or other identifying features. This proactive approach allows you to stay informed about developments in your industry and address any infringement concerns promptly.

In addition to online monitoring and database searches, it’s essential to keep an eye on industry publications and news sources for any mentions of similar names or trademarks. Stay updated on new TV shows, movies, or entertainment productions that may use names resembling your trademarked show name. Subscribing to industry newsletters or publications can provide valuable insights into potential infringement risks and help you stay ahead of any issues that may arise.

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