Reputation is important in every kind of business, but the link between reputation and money may be especially apparent in sports and entertainment. People in Florida’s sports and entertainment industries put a lot of time into building their reputations, and they can see a good reputation pay off with lucrative licensing and endorsements. One way to make sure they can reap those rewards is to protect their trademarks and other intellectual property.
Racing fans have thrilled to the victories of California Chrome since the Kentucky Derby earlier this spring, and now the horse’s owners have moved to register a trademark on the animal’s name for apparel. There may be a problem, however: There is already a Kentucky company using the name “California Chrome” for wheel covers and auto parts.
Trademarks are words, names, images or other symbols used in commerce to indicate source. The underlying philosophy behind trademark law is to protect consumers, so that when they go to pick up a box of “Brand A” cereal, they can rest assured that they are picking up the same type of cereal they bought under that name on their previous visit to the store and not an inferior imitation. Trademarks also protect businesses by giving them recourse against counterfeiters and others trying to unlawfully grab a share of their customers.
That said, the scope of trademarks can be quite limited. Two companies can use the same name, and even register that name as a trademark, as long as there is no chance that consumers will confuse the products or services with each other.
Trademark law is just one important part of intellectual property. Florida attorneys can help people in the sports and entertainment industries to protect their intellectual property at all stages of their careers.
Source: The Courier Journal, “Kentuckians sold California Chrome wheels before Derby,” Jonathan Lintner, May 20, 2014