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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Show name: trademark or copyright? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Special user
567 Posts

Profile of sb
Hi, I have a show name that I would like to "officially make mine". Would I copyright the name or get a trademark? (whats the difference?)

thanks in advance

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Eternal Order
11208 Posts

Profile of JamesTong
You copyright the contents of the entire book but trademark a name or a design.
MJ Marrs
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
1093 Posts

Profile of MJ Marrs
You would trademark the NAME of your show and copyright any written material pertaining to your show, such as on your website or printed text material of your show (e.g. workbooks for teachers).

Contrary to popular belief, one doesn't have to actually have an officially registered trademark to use the "TM" (trademark) symbol. However, one does need to actually register the material to use the "R" in a circle (Registered).

There are certain legal advantages to the "R" rather than the "TM", but they both pertain to names, logos, slogans, etc.

The "SM" (service mark) is relatively new it seems.

If I recall correctly, as an example, Dunkin' Donuts has a "R" registered trademark for their name; and a "SM" for their slogan: America runs on Dunkin'

More info can be found at:

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Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2423 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
Are you sure you want to go to that expense?

If you're just loking to protect the name in your area, perhaps you could make it a registered (with your city and/er county) "DBA" ('doing business as') or "trade style." Here, that's ten bucks and half an hour at the courthouse. That's how I protected my stage name and several company names.
Jim Snack
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Inner circle
1338 Posts

Profile of Jim Snack
You can register the name of your show as a trademark or servicemark with the US oOice of Trademarks and Copyrights. There is a fee of a few hundred dollars and it takes 6-9 months to complete the process. For over a decade I owned the rights to "Reading is Magic" for my school program. That did not stop other magicians, however, from using the same name for their show.

Each time I discovered another magician using my service mark in the school market I would contact them - first by phone, followed by a letter with documentation - place asking them to rename their show. I found that they responded in one of two ways. Either they were very apologetic and immediately offered to make the change - in which case I immediately gave them permission to use it in their geographic region - or they got an immediate attitude and started defending their position, sometimes rudely - in which case I informed them that there would be a license fee if they continued its use and possible legal action.

It was a pain in the butt to defend the service mark, but if you want to keep it, you must defend it in the market place. After ten years you must renew the mark. Since I was moving out of the school market, I let it expire.

Would I register a service mark again? Yes, if I intended on really developing it as a brand and marketing it nationally. It give you much more legal protection than simply putting the (TM) on your materials. You can research it further on the governments website or your local library.

Best wishes,

Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
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Special user
751 Posts

Profile of gmmagic124
On 2007-08-15 17:48, JamesTong wrote:
You copyright the contents of the entire book but trademark a name or a design.

That's true.
Caveat Lector
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Elite user
493 Posts

Profile of Caveat Lector
Copyrighting and trademarking are all good, but unless you have the extra money to send a lawyer out to defend it you might just be throwing away money. Your trademark or copyright is only as good as your lawyer. If you do not have the funds to defend your property then it is a waste of time.
Corrupting the art of magic, one show at a time
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