Without the legal protection of ideas and trademarks, businesses of all sizes are faced with a serious threat to intellectual property assets. But it’s not just tech companies that have to worry about copyright piracy and trademark infringement.
Sadly, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is over, but HBO’s rights to its various trademarks generated in connection with the series will continue on and we can expect HBO to protect their rights aggressively. In fact, HBO has applied for more than 100 GoT-related trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
From the legal perspective, the interesting point is that a trademark is a brand name used to identify and distinguish goods or services from one seller or provider from another. What HBO is doing, in essence, is claiming all of its GoT marks are brands in their own right. Some of the marks appear ornamental in nature, such as “Milk of the Poppy” displayed on a t-shirt, so it will be interesting to see what ultimately happens with the ornamentally, or decoratively, used marks, which is not considered “trademark” use for registration purposes.
Some of the more interesting marks either already issued by or pending in the USPTO include:
- “Queen of the Seven Kingdoms” for an alcoholic beverage, namely, a “blend of Belgian sour ale and Belgian-style blonde ale” that “reminds us that to Cersei, everyone who isn’t us is an enemy”
- “Valar Morghulis” and “Iron Throne” also for alcoholic beverages
- “Game of Thrones Dragonglass” for electronic device screen protectors
- “Music is Coming” for clothing
- “Winter is Coming” for slot machines
- “Hand of the Queen” for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- “House Lannister,” “House Greyjoy,” “House Baratheon,” House Mormont,” “House Targaryen” for online store services featuring t-shirts, mugs, glassware, etc.
- “Hodor” for clothing and mugs
- “Khaleesi” and “Daenerys Targaryen” for cosmetics
As for the parents who have named their newborn daughters “Khaleesi” or “Daenerys,” while they may secretly regret the choice after this last season, they are not likely to receive cease-and-desist letters from HBO.
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