A person may trademark a character by filling out an application and following the trademark office’s instructions. An application, a picture of the character design, an example of how the character is being used, and a fee may all be necessary to complete the process. Before filling out an application, anyone wishing to trademark a character should ensure that the character identifies a specific good or service. In addition, he should be able to provide proof that the character is in use or send a declaration that he has intent to use it. Depending on the rules of the trademark office in question, the materials may be sent either online, brought in person, or shipped through the mail.
The application for a trademark asks for information such as the name(s) and address of the party seeking registration. The individual can either be a single person, a company, an estate, or other party. The application will often also ask for other information such as how the character is being used. A fee may also be required.
As a part of the application process, a person wishing to trademark a character may need to provide a sample picture. If the application is sent online, the trademark office may require the drawing to be sent in .jpeg format. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognizes two types of drawings: standard and stylized. Standard drawings are text in Latin characters, numbers in roman or arabic characters, along with any regular punctuation and accents or other phonetic marks. A stylized drawing is any special fonts, font sizes, drawings, or other unique content.
Before a person can trademark a character, he must usually establish that the character identifies a specific source of commerce, such as a good or a service. It isn’t enough that the character exists; it must trigger thoughts of a specific source in the general public. For example, a bald man with an earring is not able to be trademarked on its own. Mr. Clean®, however, is a registered trademark of Procter and Gamble because it refers to a line of cleaning supplies.
As a part of the application process to trademark a character, a person usually has to show how the character is being used. To do this, a person usually has to send an example, such as a label with the character on it. A picture of the character being used, such as on a display, may also be accepted. A list of approved methods of proof can often be found in the trademark application.
It may not be necessary to have the character in use when a person applies in order to trademark a character. Instead of sending in proof of how the character is being used, he can send in a statement that says he intends to use it. The trademark office can then issue a notice of allowance, but will not issue a trademark until the character is in use. If the character remains unused for six months after the notice of allowance, the trademark will not be issued.