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I was wondering if once someone has a trademark/copyright/register company (ie Marvel Comics), do they have to individually trademark/copyright/register each character that would go on their t-shirt? Or is whatever they print under the company name automatically trademark/copyright/register?

PS. I know Marvel Comics is already taken ;).
 

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I was wondering if once someone has a trademark/copyright/register company (ie Marvel Comics), do they have to individually trademark/copyright/register each character that would go on their t-shirt? Or is whatever they print under the company name automatically trademark/copyright/register?

PS. I know Marvel Comics is already taken ;).
Stu,

I'm just guessing but I would say each is individual, in the case of Marvel Comics while the entire works are covered at the time each individual character is created by the artist to give the maximum amount of protection each would be copyrighted separately....so a license to print spiderman would be a different license then to print the hulk.

Again this is JMHO.

Hope it helps.
 

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Hey Stu.

Registering a business, registering a trademark and registering a copyright are three separate processes.

Registering a business is something you do with the state you intend to do business in. It is required for liability and tax purposes and ensures that you are operating a legit and legal business. It is also one of steps required to open a business bank account, get a business loan and purchase wholesale supplies.

Registering a trademark is something you do through the US Trademark Office when you want to exclusively protect a brand name, logo or other intellectual property that fits within trademark eligibility.

Registering a copyright is something you do through the US Copyright Office when you want to establish proof of ownership of a work of art (a song, a poem, a t-shirt design, etc) that fits within copyright eligibility. Technically, copyright of a work exists once the work is in fixed form. So registration is not required, but it does help to prove ownership in court.

So to answer your question, a company would individually register their business name and trademark their brand name. If the company creates characters, they would trademark each character name (and possibly a logo and likeness as well) for each classification of goods and services they intend to develop product for. The company can also choose to register copyrights for individual designs and other works (comic book stories, illustrations, etc), but as mentioned, this is not always necessary. Because copyright exists automatically, copyrightable works can all exist under company ownership without official registration.

Hope this helps.
 
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