How To Trademark a Character—All You Need To Know
While registering a fictional character as a trademark is not mandatory, it is recommended due to the numerous benefits it brings. Trademark registration is a certified way to save your intellectual property from unauthorized use.
Unfortunately, many small business owners do not know how a trademark application process works, where to send the application form, or what they should include in it. If you are one of them, we provide answers right here and now! DoNotPay teaches you how to trademark a character by following a set of simple instructions. We reveal the secret of a seamless trademark application that brings you better chances of registering your assets on the first attempt!
By filing a trademark registration application, you request exclusive rights to use a particular business element for commercial purposes. As per the trademark protection law, if your trademark gets approved, no other business offering the same or similar goods/services can use the same mark without your permission.
Trademark registration also gives you a chance to pursue justice if someone appropriates the idea without your consent. In such a situation, you can take the person to court and receive compensation for the damage.
When it comes to fictional characters, you can trademark them if you use their name, image, or both as your brand or set their image as your logo. If they appear in your novel, story, or play, you can copyright them.
Depending on the level of protection you want to achieve, you can trademark a fictional character by:
- Leaving it unregistered and obtaining a common law trademark ownership—You can avoid registering your mark if you start using the particular character for commercial purposes. This way, you get the basic, common law ownership that protects your trademark on a local level. It means that you get the exclusive rights to use the trademarked character within your geographic area. People from other parts of the state/country will be able to implement the same mark in their businesses without penalties
- Registering it as a state trademark—The process of filing a state trademark involves submitting an application form to the local secretary of state. This option is not as expensive as registering a federal mark, and the authorities will need less time to process your application. As a result, no marketers from your state will be able to use the same mark
- Filing a federal trademark—The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a federal institution dedicated to protecting business marks on a national level. By applying for a trademark with the USPTO, you get the right to use your character for commercial purposes in any part of the U.S. It is the best but also the most expensive and lengthy way of safeguarding your ideas. You can apply with the USPTO yourself or use DoNotPay to have the application form completed in a few clicks!
The following table offers simple instructions on how to apply for a USPTO character trademark registration:
|Ensure that no one else has the same mark as you||The agency will not let you register a trademark that has already been used by someone else. For this reason, running a USPTO trademark search is one of the essential trademark application requirements. You can do it by:
|Prepare a specimen||A specimen is a representation of how you use the particular mark in association with your goods. It may include drafts showing tags, labels, merchandise, and other similar elements. You should submit it along with your application form|
|Complete a trademark application form electronically||Ensure all the info you disclose in the application form is accurate. Apart from personal details, you should also state the:|
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
Besides the one-time registration fee, you have to pay for trademark renewal every ten years to keep your idea protected and make the mark last. You may also face additional costs if you hire an attorney to help you with the application procedure.
If you need a trademark but still find the registration instructions complicated, DoNotPay can guide you through the entire application process. Our app features a Trademark Registration tool that collects the basic application info from you. Once we get all the necessary details, we:
- Perform a thorough clearance search
- File a registration request in your stead and send it to the USPTO
- Provide the agency with your contact details so they can reach you after making a decision
- Create a tracking number to help you follow the application status
You need to do the following:
- Open DoNotPay and look for the Trademark Registration product
- Disclose more details about your trademark by answering the chatbot’s questions
- Confirm the filing fee payment
Whether you are just getting started with your small business or are well into the game, DoNotPay can be your valuable assistant. We can help you manage various issues, such as:
- Trademark infringement
- Negative reviews
- Breach of contract
- Suspicious chargebacks
You can focus on what is important while we take care of administrative tasks and problems.
DoNotPay’s features at your disposal are versatile. We can assist you in registering your DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office so that you can avoid exorbitant copyright infringement fines. Thanks to our app, preparing and filing business loan applications will also be smooth sailing.
If you want to protect your slogan, logo, and company name, we will guide you through the trademark registration process. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) issuance is another procedure our app is able to assist you with.
Would you like to self-certify your business under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield program? DoNotPay will complete and file the request in your stead. Our app can help take care of your employees, too. Use DoNotPay to create and submit 83(b) election forms to the IRS.
Is the pile of documents due to be sent getting bigger by the minute? Not to worry—your pocket assistant can mail and fax your documents with ease.