The September-October issue of The Trademark Reporter [pdf of full issue here] includes Daniel R. Bereskin's article on Trademark Rights and Freedom of Competition in Canada, a commentary by Dr. Martin Viefhues on the Court of Justice of the European Union's SkyKick decision, and Yashvardhan Rana's review of the book, Internet Intermediaries and Trade Mark Rights, by Althaf Marsoof. This blog post focuses on Lisa Pearson's entertaining commentary, "The Real Life of Fictional Trademarks"


I confess that I have never seen The Dukes of Hazzard, Sponge Bob Squarepants, or Empire. Be that as it may, I am sure you will enjoy Lisa Pearson's commentary as much as I did.

Entertainment and media providers have progressed well beyond the simplistic animated worlds of Saturday morning cartoons. They have created ever more complex, immersive, and interactive universes to engage audiences. The brands appearing in those universes may be real, imaginary, or a mix. In the United States, it is not uncommon for someone to launch a real product or service under a formerly fictional trademark or service mark to capitalize on the popularity of the property in which it originally appeared. Conversely, a fictional brand name in an entertainment property may bear more than a passing resemblance to an actual brand in the material world.

Consumers, intellectual property lawyers, and even judges take delight in the mind-bending implications of brands that traverse parallel universes, real and imaginary.

Welcome to the real life of fictional trademarks.


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Originally Published by Wolf Greenfield, November 2020

The TTABlog

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