Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark

Q: Can I use the term Dragonborn for a humanoid dragon race without falling under copyright from D&D?

Im developing a fantasy video game with a race of humanoid dragon people that were made by dragons and was hoping to call them Dragonborn, but it shares the same name and physical similarities to the Dungeons and Dragons race of Dragonborn. Despite the fact its just a combination of the words Dragon and Born, the owners of D&D seem to have copyrighted the word, so Im not sure if I would be allowed to use it in my own game. I also do not have the funds to hire a personal lawyer to answer this question and I am located outside the US. Thanks

1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Wilmington, MA

A: It sounds like you're asking about the trademark implications of you using that term. There are many factors to determine if you are infringing on someone's trademark. It would be best to have a trademark attorney conduct a comprehensive search at the USPTO to determine if you may run afoul of any trademarks owned by D&D or anyone else in connection with the name you want to use.

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