Can You Trademark a Character?
The short answer is: yes, you can apply to trademark an original character that serves as either your company’s logo or its brand 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. Trademarking a character will prevent any competitors from utilizing the character’s name or image to advertise or sell competing products or services.
Using a character to brand your products or services can be a very effective way to create brand recognition. However, in order to attain trademark rights to the character, the character must be unique and original. We always recommend having a thorough trademark search performed to ensure that there are not any similar registered trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. Additionally, you should have a competent trademark attorney perform the search to make sure there are no other trademarks that could prevent you from securing a trademark on your character’s name or image.
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