Movie Titles, Trademarks, and MPAA Protection

Ever wondered how two movies can share the same title? Or maybe why more movies don’t have the same title? The answer to both of these questions lies in what you can and can’t protect under copyright and trademark law, and the movie industry’s solution to this issue. Typically, copyright and trademark law do not protect movie titles. Copyrights are intended to incentivize creativity (and the effort it takes to be creative) by protecting original expression. In order to qualify for copyright protection, a work must have some amount of “authorship” and be “fixed in a tangible medium” (for example, in writing or saved on a hard drive). 

Are movie titles distinctive, or merely descriptive? Read more Trademarks.

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In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas.  He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time.  Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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