Can you trademark a mascot?

Yes, you can trademark a mascot. You can trademark the name or image of a mascot, so long as you use the image of the mascot to promote or sell your products or services to the public.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

For example, “PHILLIE PHANATIC" (the official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team) is a registered trademark. You may also place the likeness or image of the mascot on a logo and trademark the logo for additional protection. In order for a mascot to be trademarked, it must be distinct from all other mascots, and it must be associated with your particular products or services.

Creating a mascot can be an important part of solidifying your brand identity; as such, it is important to ensure that your mascot is unique and protected with a trademark. Trademarking your mascot will prevent any competitors from utilizing a similar mascot, and it will provide you with legal recourse should any competitors attempt to use a similar mascot.

If you have any questions regarding trademarking the name or image of a mascot, contact us today to speak with a licensed trademark attorney.

Famous Mascot Trademarks

While many sports teams have trademarked the name and imagery of their mascots, several big brands have trademarked their mascots, protecting them from competitors and leveraging marketing opportunities in the future. Some of these famous mascots include:

  • Mickey Mouse by the Walt Disney Company
  • Tony the Tiger by Kellogg's
  • Kool-Aid Man by Kool-Aid
  • Mr. Peanut by Planters Peanuts
  • Mr Clean by Procter and Gamble
  • Sir Charms by General Mills Lucky Charms Cereal
  • Michelin Man by Michelin
  • Captain Morgan by the Captain Morgan Rum Company
  • The Jolly Green Giant for Green Giant Company

Navigating the Trademark Application Process

The process of trademarking a mascot involves critical steps, including conducting a thorough trademark search. This search is pivotal to ensure that the mascot design does not infringe on existing marks and is distinctive enough to qualify for trademark protection. Over time, trademarks become a significant part of a brand's identity, symbolizing the brand's intellectual property rights in the market.

The Importance of Copyrights and Intellectual Property Rights

While trademarks protect names, logos, and other marks used in commerce, copyrights safeguard the original design of the mascot itself, adding an additional layer of intellectual property protection. Understanding the nuances between these rights can be pivotal for school mascots or corporate figures, emphasizing the importance of securing comprehensive intellectual property rights.

Trademark Protection in the Educational Sector

School mascots are a unique subset where trademark protection plays a crucial role. For educational institutions, a mascot is not just a symbol of spirit and pride but also an intellectual property asset that needs safeguarding in the competitive market of educational services.

The Role of Trademark Lawyers

Engaging experienced trademark attorneys is essential in navigating the complexities of trademark law and the trademark registration process. These professionals offer valuable legal advice, guiding trademark owners through the application process and ensuring that all requirements for trademark protection are met.

How We Can Work Together

Trademarking a mascot offers a pathway to secure exclusive rights over a unique symbol that represents a brand or institution in the marketplace. From design to trademark registration, each step is vital in ensuring that a mascot can effectively contribute to brand identity and market presence. With the guidance of a trademark lawyer, businesses and educational institutions alike can navigate the process more smoothly, ensuring their mascots serve as protected ambassadors of their values and services.

Click for sound

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

Protect Your Mark

Get the trademark protection you need for your business name, logo, or slogan.

Or call us today


You'll Speak directly with our founding attorney.


Law Office of Xavier Morales
P.O. BOX 3256
Austin, TX 78764

office: 1-866-618-2517
fax: 1-866-639-4889