3 Ways Trademark Research Protects Films from Lawsuits
Films involve a heavy amount of research. From research on possible locations to the accuracy of details, there’s quite a bit of investigation required to get a film off the ground.
Before you ever release your film, one type of research should be crossed off your list—trademark research.
Trademark research is especially important when it comes to the title of your film. It can be a disaster to release your film…only to discover that your title is too similar to the trademarked name of a film franchise or other protected brand.
The recent legal altercation between Orion Pictures and the security company RoboCopp, LLC, sheds light on this important issue.
Robocop and RoboCopp: A Question of Trademark
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Orion Pictures sparked a court process when it sent a letter to RoboCopp, LLC, threatening legal action.
According to the article, RoboCopp, LLC, is a security company, but Orion Pictures claims the company uses a name and a robot image that overstep legal bounds.
In the letter, Orion specifically complains about…
- The similar spelling between ROBOCOP and RoboCopp.
- The similar sounds between ROBOCOP and RoboCopp.
- Similar font used by RoboCopp, LLC, for its trademark application.
The Hollywood Reporter states that RoboCopp, LLC, is seeking a declaratory judgment of noninfringement.
In this situation, the party facing legal threats is a security company. Just imagine the risk had RoboCopp, LLC, been a film production. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the legal risks would have been heightened.
Whether RoboCopp, LLC, purposefully crafted its name around Robocop or not, your film doesn’t have to suffer from a glaring mistake like this. Here are three ways trademark research can forestall trouble for your film.
Trademark research protects your film from lengthy legal battles.
There’s no telling how the clash between RoboCopp, LLC, and Orion Pictures will end. You need trademark research for more than your Errors and Omissions insurance. You need it to keep your film from being tied up in a legal battle.
Court processes aren’t always swift, and your time is precious. Even if you do win a court battle, you can’t win back your time. Your best solution is to complete your due diligence and completely avoid this type of situation.
Trademark research helps your film avoid unnecessary competition.
Avoiding trademark infringement is more than just preventing a lawsuit. If you think about it, trademark research can help you maximize profits. Even if you do have a right to use a certain name, it may be best to find another to avoid unnecessary competition.
You don’t want your audience to google your film and for search results to display a similar title. Instead of focusing attention on your production, using a similar name can cause your audience’s fascination to turn to another film.
Trademark research protects a film from costly lawsuits.
When it comes to RoboCopp, LLC, this company may lose profits, depending on the court outcome. The results for a film can be just as unpleasant.
If you do have to change the title of your film, your revenue might dip. A person searching for your film using the original title may be distracted by the change of name. Or your second title may not stick like the first one did. Before you lose any potential profit, you should ensure your catchy title is cleared for any potential legal disputes.
You can gain the trademark research you need with a title report. With broad research, you’ll be able to assess the risk of using a certain title.