Thinking about using the iconic Hollywood sign as a way to promote your business? Better think again. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce not only owns a trademark registration for the landmark sign, but owns about a half a dozen trademark registrations relating to the Hollywood icon. Recently, a New York ad agency called “The Brooklyn Brotherss” altered a photo of the Hollywood sign to include the letters BB in front of the word Hollywood in an effort to promote their new venture. (Click here to see related The Hollywood Reporter article.)
The hugely successful movie franchise, The Lord of the Rings, picks up again when director Peter Jackson releases The Hobbit on December 14th, 2012. The profitability of the movies and all things related to Middle Earth are not lost on others looking to ride the momentum created by the new release. Global Asylum is a movie production company that specializes in “mockbusters”, low-budget movies that have similar titles and storylines to blockbuster movies and are released around the same time. This time around, Global Asylum intends to cash in on The Hobbit frenzy by releasing a film entitled Age of the Hobbits, three days before the release of the Jackson film (see story). So what’s the deal with these mockbusters? Is this fair game or foul play? Trademark law may be the deciding voice.
Shortly after singer Beyoncé gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter in January, the new mother and father, rapper Jay-Z, did something most parents never do. They filed a trademark application on the name of their child. When the parents are two of the most successful musicians on the planet, it seems that even the birth of their first child doesn’t slow down business. It may seem like a smart thing to do, because other people might try to beat them to the trademark office to potentially use the mark as leverage. For example, third parties might try to use the mark in ways that negatively affect their brand or try to sell the mark to them at an exorbitant price. News reports have come out suggesting that they have lost their battle over the trademark. (Click here to see Rolling Stone article.) While it’s true that Beyoncé and Jay-Z will not have have exclusive rights to use the term Blue Ivy, they haven’t lost their rights all together. The couple’s trademark application is still pending before the US Patent and Trademark Office and recently published for opposition. (Click here to see Notice of Publication from the USPTO.) So long as there is no one with senior rights to the same mark for the same or similar goods, their trademark registration application should survive the opposition period.
The Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune recently ran articles in their online business sections about Trademark Access’s online trademark registration services. The articles may be viewed by clicking here and here respectively.
As stated by the Deseret News article, Perry Clegg, the founder of Trademark Access, was recently elected to be the secretary of the Intellectual Property Section of the Utah State Bar and has been named among the top intellectual property attorneys in Utah as determined by a survey of legal peers conducted by Utah Business Magazine.