I realized that a lot of trademarks are company brands like Microsoft and Amazon, but what about film/comic/videogame trademarks like Iron Man, Pokemon and Ghostbusters? What do we call these type of trademarks?

2 Answers 2


They are just trademarks, there is no special term that i know of. When an entertainment brand is used in several different media, it may be called a "franchise" but that term is not particular to the trademark.

see This law.se Q&A for details on what a trademark does and does not protect.

  • I'm sorry but works of art don't have trademarks. brands with trademarks are things. The term brand is applied loosely today. Everyone and everything is leveraged into being "a brand".
    – Lambie
    May 11, 2019 at 22:30
  • @Lambie Anything that is sold can have a trademark. Major commercial films almost .always have multiple trademarks. So do videogames. In th US, if a word or log is used to identify a thing (including a digital thing) being sold, it can be protected as a trademark, even if not registered. May 12, 2019 at 2:09

a trademark is a type of intellectual property.

Generally, they are for widgets (real objects), not for films and books, which have copyrights because they are creative works of art.

So, Pokemon figurines (or whatever they are called) would have a trademark and would bear the stamp of a symbol like this on them: (™), registered trademark) on them. Sometimes,the marks is an R in a circle, like this: “®” [Sorry, so small!)

Movies with characters such as Pokemon are copyrighted works, have copyrights and other rights, which are owned by companies or individuals. Movies, videogames and comic books have copyrights.

[intellectual property rights][1]

Copyright covers literary works (such as novels, poems and plays), films, music, artistic works (e.g., drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures) and architectural design.

Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms [records, albums or CDs,for example] in their recordings, and broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

Do not confuse the original idea of brand, such as a product brand's characteristics, with the much looser term brand, which are the characteristics associated with a person or work (such as a movie) that become part of a marketing universe. In that sense, comic book characters take on the features of a brand, but they are not actually a brand. Brand is for soap, cars or other real things.

  • This is seriously wrong, at least as fqar as " not for films and books". Trademarks and copyrights protect different things, and it is very common for a popular series of fictional works, in any medium, to have the series title and the names of major characters are often trademarked. this article describes how DC comics agressively enforces trademarks on "Superman" "Batman" and related logos, and on other characters. May 12, 2019 at 2:22
  • The distinction made in this answer between "a marketing universe." and a "real thing" is completely invalid as far as trademark law is concerned. A "marketing universe" will often have several trademarks associated with it. By the way (™),means trademark, but not registered. “®” means registered trademark. Copyright covers rather more than is mentioend above, it covers any original written work, including textbooks, newspapers, and this post. It covers any origianl graphic work, But copyrighted works are often marketd via trademarks. May 12, 2019 at 2:30
  • For more on what a trademark is, and how and when they apply, see the trademark category tag on law.se, or the Q&A linked in my answer, and the others in that category. May 12, 2019 at 2:53
  • @DavidSiegel The term registered trademark can be depicted by either symbols depending on the country. The point is that your answer misses the main point. Just because I didn't put in every single type of work doesn't mean my general answer is not spot on. Copyrights are not for widgets. Copyrights are for works of art, etc. And trademarks can be for representations or drawings.
    – Lambie
    May 12, 2019 at 15:05
  • In the US, the circled R is for registered trademark. I should have said that. Because your answer said that "trademarks are not for {list of copyrightable things}" it seemed that your list of things that copyrights are for was intended to be exhaustive. It is true that copyrights are not for widgets, although the decoration on a widget may be copyrighted. But trademarks are very much for works of art,(if they are sold) particularly in popular entertainment. Trademarks may be for anything that is sold. This makes the answer highly misleading, in my view. May 12, 2019 at 15:16

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