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How To Register A Podcast Name Trademark

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How To Register A Podcast Name Trademark

With such a saturated podcasting industry – wherein new podcasts seem to spring up every single week – finding the perfect name can be tricky, as can holding onto and protecting that name once you find it. 

But how can you trademark a podcast name, and what protections does this provide? 

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Introductory Trademark Steps

Trademarking a name is the best line of defense and legal protection against theft and infringement of intellectual property, and can ensure that you retain the name you created for many years to come. 

The trademark law protects the use of a particular name or logo in connection with goods and/or services. By registering your podcast name as a trademark you will have exclusive rights to its use, which can help to protect it from being improperly used by others. 

Trademark protection helps to prevent others from taking credit for your work, and provides you with legal recourse should someone try to use your name or logo unlawfully.

It also creates an exclusive association in the public mind between your podcast name and content that only you provide – which in turn can help to boost the popularity of your show by giving it a distinct identity.

International trademark protection is also available for those wanting to guard their podcast name from being used around the world. This can be especially important if you plan on expanding your show beyond its current borders and wish to protect it from infringement in other countries.

Choosing A Name

registered trademark symbol

Choosing a name can be tricky – especially when it comes to something like a podcast. It needs to speak for what you do as an entity, and what you intend to present to the world once you become active. 

If your podcast is comedy centric, then you might choose to opt for a podcast trademark that is more humorous or pun based, but if you are focused on serious, scientific issues, then you might wish to choose something more specific and focused on that topic. 

Checking The Name

Before registering a trademark for a podcast name, the first thing you need to do is search online – using the most common public podcasting directories – to see if the name already exists. 

This is an important aspect of the process, and essentially protects you from potential legal troubles, as well as protecting the other existing entities from having their name stolen. 

It is also important to check various social media platforms – at least the ones you intend to be active on – to see that there isn’t any other business or entity using the same name you want to register. 

How To Trademark A Podcast Name

How To Trademark A Podcast Name

When it comes to registering a trademark for your chosen podcast name, there is a handy method you can use to achieve this end. 

Step One

As mentioned above, the first step in the trademark application involves checking the trademark databases to see whether the name you want to register has already been taken.

This is very much your responsibility as the applicant, and at no point will this fact be pointed out to you. 

When checking this information, you can either use the United States Patent & Trademark Office (if you are based in the United States), or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) if you are looking to attain international trademark registration. 

A trademark lawyer can also help you to determine which route is the most suitable for your podcast.

Step Two

trademark application form

The next step is to fill out an application form for trademarking in your country of origin.

These applications can typically be found online, and while it isn’t especially complicated to fill out, it does help if you know a little about the process in general before proceeding. 

It is also important to know what class your proposed trademarked material falls under.

This is based on the NICE system, and is used throughout the world to classify certain entities and goods for trademark registration. 

Podcasts generally fall under class 9 goods (downloadable MP3 files), as well as class 41 services – which include entertainment services, specifically podcasting content

Step Three

Once you have completed the form, you then need to submit it to your country’s trademark authority.

This can also be typically submitted online, and there is an application fee that usually needs to be paid for submission. 

This amount will vary depending on the type of property you are wishing to trademark, and the number of names or products you wish to trademark at any one time. 

You generally cannot make changes once this has been submitted, so it is important to check and double-check before you do so.

Once you have, this status can be monitored online. 

Step Four

The fourth step is to wait for a decision from the trademark authority.

This process can be painstaking, and often takes several months to complete due to the number of safeguards and checks involved. 

Examiners will often consider the claim based on certain criteria, including: 

  • Whether there are significant deficiencies for denial. 
  • Whether minor changes need to be made for approval. 

If the changes are minor, they will usually telephone you to ask you to complete the changes for approval, whereas any major problems might result in denial and a subsequent resubmission. 

These decisions and registrations can be challenged by 3rd parties at any time, and if this happens it is down to you to defend such opposition. 

Do Trademarks Have Expiration Dates? 

approved trademark application

This is an interesting question, and one asked by many new entities looking for a legal loophole for registering their chosen name that’s similar to another with a trademark registered. 

The important thing to remember is that trademark rights only apply to things that are actively in use.

This means that the podcast needs to be active to retain the rights it has, otherwise, the name could be up for grabs by someone else down the line. 

As a rule of thumb, if a trademarked product hasn’t been used within three years, then it is considered inactive and becomes up for grabs for others who might potentially want to use it. 

This is why it is so important not to jump the gun and register too early – especially if you have no idea or plan for how you are going to proceed with the podcast

However, before jumping on a name that has been used some time in the past, it is always best to secure legal advice, so as to avoid any potential trademark infringement lawsuits that could come to light in the future. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about registering a podcast name trademark, and the protections it can offer to up-and-coming podcasters. 

Podcasting can be a fun and fulfilling experience and one that can prove successful depending on the formula you are working with.

However, what is more important is protecting your intellectual property from copyright infringement and theft – and luckily, with these simple steps, you can do just that!

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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