Creating a unique character is an exciting process, but it’s also important to make sure that character is legally protected. Many artists and creators wonder how to copyright a character, and what steps they need to take to ensure their intellectual property is safeguarded.
The first step in copyrighting a character is to ensure that every piece of art created is copyrighted. This means that all poses, images, and characters should be protected by copyright law. Before licensing a character, it’s recommended to register the copyrights with the copyright office. However, it’s important to note that registering a copyright does not guarantee legal protection. Instead, it allows creators to defend their property if someone tries to use it without permission.
When it comes to characters specifically, trademark law can be an important factor in protecting the image and name of the character. Consulting with a trademark attorney is recommended to establish a trademark for the character’s brand name. Trademarks can protect characters in specific product categories, such as apparel, food and beverage, or publishing. It’s important to start with the product categories that are most relevant to the character and prioritize trademark registration in those areas.
Trademark registration is done on a country-by-country and product category basis. For example, a trademark could be registered in the US for stationery, Canada for stationery, and Japan for stationery. Prioritizing trademark registration in the US and in the product categories that are most relevant to the character is essential. From there, creators can work on expanding trademark registration internationally and in other product categories.
In conclusion, copyrighting a character involves registering every piece of art created, registering copyrights with the copyright office, and consulting with a trademark attorney to establish a trademark for the character’s brand name. Trademarks are essential in protecting characters, and creators should prioritize registration in the US and in the product categories that are most relevant to the character. With these steps, creators can ensure their intellectual property is legally protected and ready for licensing opportunities.