Protecting Fictional Trade-Marks

Back in April of 2010, we posted about efforts in the UK undertaken by the producers of Coronation Street to protect their interest in a fictional brand of beer featured on the show (Trade-mark Protection for a Fictional Beer).  With a hat tip to the indispensable Lon Sobel at Entertainment Law Reporter, Benjamin Arrow has written a great article on protecting fictional trade-marks: “Real-Life Protection for Fictional Trademarks” (21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 111).

Assessing the question from the point of view of US law, Arrow looks at trade-mark and copyright issues relating to the protection of fictional brands, with nods to the case where DC Comics sought (and obtained) an injunction against someone publishing a newspaper called The Daily Planet, and the seminal Australian case on the topic, wherein the producers of The Simpsons, sought to prevent use of the word “Duff” in connection with the sale of beer (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Matt Groening Productions Inc v the South Australian Brewing Co Ltd and Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd [1996] FCA 1484).

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Bob Tarantino

About Bob Tarantino

Bob Tarantino is Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP and focuses his practice on the interface between the entertainment industries and intellectual property law, with an emphasis on film and television production, financing, licensing, distribution, and IP acquisition and protection. His clients range from artists and independent producers to Canadian distributors and foreign studios and financiers at every stage of the creative process, from development to delivery and exploitation.

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