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IndieMovieMaker
08-12-2014, 04:19 PM
Hi, do any of you guys have a production company that is trademarked or copyrighted or something like that? Because i was thinking of doing it but it seems too expensive. Is it really important? And how many of you guys have copyrighted, trademarked etc. your company?

Fiveacre Films
08-20-2014, 01:21 PM
If trademarking a logo seems too expensive to you then you have probably not yet reached a point where it's needed.

Any fixed image, such as a logo, can be copyrighted (although this does not offer the same protection as a trademark). In fact any image you create it IS copyrighted to you from the moment you put it in a fixed form. You may further protect it by registering it with the Library of Congress, for a fee of about $35. This does two things: It records a date by which it was in use, and also allows you to recover more damages in court if there is ever a lawsuit. While a logo can be copyrighted, a name cannot. Your production company name has to be trademarked, or service-marked, as the case may be. I believe there are firms out there that provide that service for around $500. That may seen like a lot of money when you're first starting out, but it would be better to spend the money now rather than to get to a point where you've already established the name somewhat, only to find out it's too close to someone elses' name to be granted the trademark yourself.

IndieMovieMaker
08-20-2014, 02:21 PM
Well, I cannot do those thing as I am a teen. I was hoping iI could just have something in the mean time until i can ACTUALLY do it :)!

Fiveacre Films
08-20-2014, 10:03 PM
I was a teenager when I got my first registered copyright. It's not that hard. Back then you had to call or send for the printed forms, fill them out and send them back along with two photocopies of your artwork, along with a payment of $25. Nowadays it's even simpler: you can do it all online and submit the images digitally (although I think you still have to send hardcopies later) and pay $35 (the fee only went up $10 in 30 years) by credit card.

I can't remember if you have to be 18 to do this, but if that's the case, your parents could do it on your behalf.

paint it black
08-31-2016, 07:22 PM
I see this is an older topic, but I figured maybe this info can help someone else.

Make sure what you want to use is not conflicting with an existing trademark, then you can use the TM on the logo. This means that you intend on registering it as a legal trademark. Once it is officially registered, then you can legally use the in your logo.

My logo is a federally registered trademark, it was costly and took a while to get through. Mostly, because my logo is my signature. Surname's usually do not get approved as a trademark due to the fact that a lot of people can share the same surname. However, if you have a good lawyer, they have to prove to the registration office that your mark is "famous" or "well known" and needs to be registered to stop others from using it. Thankfully, thousands of dollars and over a year later, they approved my federal trademark.

There are local options to trademark something with just the state you conduct business in, but someone who has a similar trademark registered federally can overwrite your local statewide trademark. This is much more affordable, in Florida it's somewhere around $300. But a friend of mine did in fact have to completely rebrand his company when a company with a federal trademark decided to come after him, even though he had a florida trademark.

Here is some info I found to help describe the difference between the TM and the official :
"Your business can use the ™ symbol whenever it wishes to claim a trademark. You do not need to file any paperwork to receive permission to use the ™ symbol. Use of the ™ symbol can put your competition on notice that your business considers a mark to be your trademark.

Yet, the symbol may only be used after the US Government grants a Federal registration certificate. The symbol may not be used while the Federal application is pending. Additionally, the symbol may only be used in connection with the goods and services listed on the registration certificate."

SleepyDogFilms
02-08-2017, 06:31 PM
I agree with what is said above. To add, you can call your brand a trademark on your own. In order to say "All Rights Reserved" it must be Federally registered. This means that if you choose option 1, you are responsible for defending your right to use that in court. If you choose option 2, then (theoretically) the Federal government will defend your right to use that in court.

Steve Olander
05-25-2017, 07:01 PM
I don't know that having a Federally registered trademark means the Government will defend your trademark. If you have a Patent you are still responsible for defending your own Patent that is issued by the Federal Patent Office. I know in the case of Patents it depends on which party has the most money. Many Patent holders cannot afford to defend their Patents against major corporations with millions of dollars and thus others make millions off of their original idea.

Steve

Ellisofia
05-29-2017, 06:36 AM
You would have to be specific on the country because, when it comes to trademarking i would say that first and foremost every country has their own bureau or office for registering your trademarked name or logo. For example in India there are five offices in the country, so you register in the correct office based on which region you are in.
This differs with other countries like for example America because in the States there are state trademark registrations, but if you want to register for the entire country, you would go to the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and register through them. I came across this blog post (https://www.1and1.co.uk/digitalguide/websites/digital-law/registering-your-company-name-or-trademark/) which has some very useful information when it comes to trademark registration especially in the United States.

strejos
09-26-2017, 09:43 AM
I agree with everything that's been said in this post. Trademarking is a bit more nuanced of an ordeal than a simple copyright, because of the fact that a copyright is given as soon as its on a fixed medium.

These guys have some great resources on copyright and trademark, and production help as well:

wilkinsonmazzeo.com/resources/category/artists/