Miami, FL asked in Trademark for Florida

Q: Can the word Muggle be used in book title? Since titles can’t be trademarked?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: You still run the risk of copyright infringement from the Harry Potter rights holders; for it is well-established that characters are subject to copyright protection. This is a gray area, however, because "muggle" is essentially a race within the HP world, and the HP rights holders would have to demonstrate the race is sufficiently artistic *on its own* to warrant copyright protection.

You would potentially run the risk of trademark infringement and false designation of origin claims. You should consult with an attorney to learn the full scope of your risks.

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