Seattle, WA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Washington

Q: In a trademark, can I protect future additional goods & services that are in progress & haven't been created yet?

I'm planning on creating a book series in which I want to trademark the title. I'm also currently creating a video game to add to this franchise. In the future, I want to file another application to extend my trademark to not only protect my books, but my video games too.

Since my video game will take possibly 10 years or so to create, If my trademarked book series is for sale but my video game is still in progress, can someone else create a video game using the same title I intend to use from my trademarked book series if they finish creating their video game first?

Since I wouldn't be able to add my videogame to my trademark until it's finished, is there any way to protect my future video game and other products I intend to sell that haven't been created yet?

1 Lawyer Answer
Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Helotes, TX

A: Hi there! It is great that you are thinking about IP protections from the very beginning.

From a trademark standpoint you have limited options that far in advance. You can file trademark registrations for things that are not in commerce yet (called an intent-to-use application), but the protection only lasts up to 3 years. In addition, trademark registrations for book titles are rarely granted unless the series becomes extremely popular and effectively creates its own brand. Think Twilight, Harry Potter, etc.

However, you may have copyright protections on elements of your book series that would prevent someone from turning it into a video game. This, however, would not necessarily prevent someone from using the book title for a video game.

I recommend speaking to an intellectual property lawyer about your plans to get advice specific to your situation. Best of luck on your endeavors!

1 user found this answer helpful

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