New York, NY asked in Trademark for New York

Q: can I trademark an IP without a business license or deciding on a business name ?

I have fictional character I made for movies, music and books. I want to protect it and license it

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2 Lawyer Answers
Benjamin Charles Korray
Benjamin Charles Korray
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes, in theory you can. You do not need to first form a business or decide on a business name. However, in order to obtain a registered trademark, you have to actually use the fictional character as a brand and "in commerce" which means that you need to sell things under that brand. And, you need to decide what you want to sell under that brand. You could brand a clothing company, you could brand a video production company, etc. etc. With your example, you would need to use your fictional character as a brand (like the Nike CheckMark) on certain goods or services in order to actually protect that fictional character as a trademark.

Another consideration is copyrighting the fictional character. Copyright protects creations such as drawings, writings, photos, music, etc. This is different than trademark but may better suit your goals.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions to Thank you.

1 user found this answer helpful

A: Hi! You can definitely trademark your character name, even without a business license or a business name. I would recommend consulting with an attorney to make sure that is the right action for your situation, but having a business name and license are not necessary for trademarking something like that.

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