Friday, April 28, 2017

Disney Files Applications to Register UNIT ZERO, 5 Other Potential Shows or Movies as Trademarks

Disney Enterprises, Inc. had a relatively busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 24th, filing six different trademark applications for what appears to be titles of television shows and/or movies. The applications Disney filed are for:
Disney filed each application in Class 41 for "education and entertainment services," which doesn't provide a great deal of detail about how these marks will be used. Each application was filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting Disney is not yet using these marks in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b)

Such filings do not obligate Disney to actually start using these marks (although it will need to start using them to actually get a registration), but the statute does require a "bona fide" intent to use the marks as a condition precedent to filing an intent to use application, which means something more than just an idea in one's head exists for the mark (i.e., a business plan has been created, contracts have been signed for the show, the show is in pre-production, etc.). For example, it appears ABC (Disney is the parent company of ABC) is currently casting for Unit Zero, which is set to be a action dramedy.

As I blogged about last month, Disney also recently filed five trademark applications for RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK- RALPH 2. It is not uncommon for entertainment companies to file trademark applications for potential show or movie names prior to their premiere (like Netflix did last October).

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