Registering Characters as Trademarks

Characters are an essential part of many creative works, such as video games, comic books, movies, and books. They can also be valuable assets for the creators and owners of these works, as they can generate revenue from merchandising, licensing, and franchising. However, to protect the rights and interests of the character owners, it is important to register the characters as trademarks.

an assortment of stuffed dolls of various animated and drawn characters

Characters are an essential part of many creative works, such as video games, comic books, movies, and books. They can also be valuable assets for the creators and owners of these works, as they can generate revenue from merchandising, licensing, and franchising. However, to protect the rights and interests of the character owners, it is important to register the characters as trademarks.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services from those of others. A trademark can also be a sound, a scent, or a color that performs the same function. A trademark helps consumers to recognize the quality and reputation of the products or services associated with the mark.

Why register a character as a trademark?

Registering a character as a trademark can provide several benefits for the character owner, such as:

  • Preventing others from using confusingly similar characters for competing or related goods or services.

  • Enforcing the exclusive rights to use the character for commercial purposes.

  • Building brand recognition and loyalty among consumers.

  • Licensing or franchising the character to other parties for additional income.

How to register a character as a trademark?

To register a character as a trademark, the character owner must follow these steps:

  • Conduct a trademark search to make sure the character is not already registered or used by someone else.

  • Determine the appropriate format and classification for the character mark.

  • File an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and pay the required fees.

  • Respond to any objections or oppositions from the USPTO or third parties.

  • Receive a certificate of registration from the USPTO.

Examples of registered character trademarks

Just a couple of examples of well-known characters that have been registered as trademarks include:

  • Mickey Mouse for everything from clothing to clocks.

  • Superman for comic books, toys, clothing, etc.

  • Mario for books, toys, games, and even breakfast cereals.

Conclusion

Characters are more than just fictional creations; they are also valuable intellectual property assets that can be protected by registering them as trademarks. By doing so, character owners can enjoy exclusive rights and benefits over their characters and prevent others from exploiting them without permission. If you have a character that you want to register as a trademark, contact us to consult with an experienced trademark attorney who can guide you through the process and help you secure your rights.