Harry Potter Merchandise Glasses (TM)
Any Harry Potter fans will probably be familiar with the fact that: (1) Harry Potter wears glasses; and (2) He has a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt.
If you were to draw a picture of his glasses and scar, it would probably look something like this:
As it happens, LOTS of people have done just that (drawn pictures of glasses and lightning bolts). Most of those images are from sites like Etsy, Amazon or other sites selling t-shirts and merchandise. Very little if any of the sites link to any official merchandise. Well, that’s all probably about to change.
Harry Potter Glasses Trademark Application
A few weeks ago, Warner Bros. Entertainment applied for registration in the EU and US for this logo:
Looks familiar, right?
You’re A Wizard Harry…But Not A Trademark Agent
This is a VERY interesting set of circumstances for an intellectual property and trademark nerd like myself.
Here’s some (and there are many) of the issues:
- Is this logo capable of registration as a trademark? Is it distinctive, is it capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one provider from those of another?
- Has the logo effectively been appropriated by the fandom so that it’s now generic of ‘Harry Potter’? If it’s generic then it’s possibly not capable of registration as a trademark;
- Who was the first person to draw this logo, or one very like it? It seems to me like this developed and became ‘a thing’ through the fan universe, is that right? Is this trademark in breach of anybody’s copyright?
- Will the EUIPO or USPTO allow this application?
- Will anybody object to the application (for reasons 1 to 3 above, or any other reason).
Harry Potter Trademark Application Details
Here’s a list of the Goods and services the trademark application (in the EUIPO) covers:
Class 14 – Precious metal goods or goods coated in precious metals, namely, watches, alarm watches, sporting watches, jewelry, bracelets, ankle bracelets, brooches, chains, charms, cuff-links, rings, earrings, necklaces, lapel pins, tie pins, tie clips, ornamental pins, pendants, amulets, key rings and key chains; clocks; alarm clocks; desk clocks; watches; alarm watches; sporting watches; jewelry; beads for making jewelry; costume jewelry; bracelets; ankle bracelets; brooches; chains; charms; cuff-links; rings; earrings; necklaces; lapel pins; tie pins; tie clips; ornamental pins; pendants; amulets; key rings and key chains; key chains, not of metal; key chains as jewelry [trinkets or fobs]; key chains [trinkets or fobs]; key chains [trinkets or fobs] of precious metals; key rings [trinkets or fobs]; leather key chains; imitation leather key chains; non-metal key rings; leather key rings; imitation leather key rings; leather key fobs; key fobs of imitation leather; action figures (decorative) of precious metal; figurines coated with precious metal; figurines of precious or semi-precious stones; adhesive wall decorations of precious metal; badges of precious metal; cases for clocks; cases and containers of precious metal; jewelry cases; musical jewelry boxes; leather jewelry boxes; coins.
Class 16 – Printed matter and paper goods, namely, books featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and/or drama features, comic books, children’s books, magazines featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and/or drama features, coloring books, children’s activity books; stationery, writing paper, envelopes, notebooks, memo pads, diaries, note cards, greeting cards, trading cards, postcards; paper weights; wall planners; passport covers; non-metal money clips; pens, pencils, cases therefor; erasers; mechanical pencils; crayons, markers, coloring pens, colored pencils, pen sets, quill pens, painting sets, chalk and chalkboards; sealing wax; sealing stamps; stickers and sticker books; decals; heat transfers; posters; paper pennants; adhesive plastic film with removable paper for mounting images for decorative purposes; lithographs; art prints; fine art prints; art mounts; mounted and/or unmounted photographs; bookends; book covers and book marks; calendars; gift wrapping paper; paper party decorations, namely, paper napkins, paper place mats, crepe paper, invitations, paper table cloths and paper cake decorations; temporary tattoos; printed transfers for embroidery or fabric appliqués; printed patterns for costumes, pajamas, sweatshirts and t-shirts.
Class 18 – Athletic bags, baby backpacks, backpacks, beach bags, book bags, diaper bags, duffel bags, messenger bags, brief cases, gym bags, tote bags, coin purses, fanny packs, knapsacks, waist packs, shopping bags, re-useable shopping bags; umbrellas; wallets; accessories made of leather, namely wallets, handbags and shoulder belts.
Glass 21 – Glass, ceramic and earthenware goods, namely, bowls, plates, coffee cups, and cups; beverage glassware, namely, jugs, mugs and drinking glasses; dishes; cutting boards; pans; sugar and creamer sets; salt shakers; pepper pots; toothpicks; toothpick holders; napkin holders; tea caddies, not of precious metal; demitasse sets consisting of cups and saucers; plastic cups; infant cups; cookie jars; non-metal piggy banks; ceramic, glass and china figurines; non-electric coffee pots not of precious metal; kettles; lunch boxes; lunch pails; wastebaskets; wastepaper baskets; ice buckets; plastic buckets; shower caddies; cake molds; serving utensils, namely, pie servers, cake turners, spatulas, scrapers, and cake servers; plastic coasters; serving trays not of precious metal; thermal insulated containers for food or beverages; cookie cutters; cork screws; toothbrushes; toothbrush cases; soap boxes; combs and sponges; brushes (other than paint brushes); hair combs; hair brushes; cleaning combs; dusting brushes; brushes for clothes; bottle openers; bottles sold empty; water bottles sold empty; plastic water bottles; canteens; decanters; drinking flasks; towel holders; incense pots; vases not of precious metal; candlestick holders not of precious metal; gardening gloves; rubber household gloves; kitchen linens, namely, barbecue mitts, oven mitts, and pot holders; and dinnerware, namely, paper plates and paper cups; place mats, not of paper or textile.
Glass 25 – Clothing for men, women and children – namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging suits, trousers, pants, shorts, tank tops, rainwear, cloth baby bibs, body suits for babies, skirts, blouses, dresses, suspenders, sweaters, hoodies, jackets, coats, raincoats, snow suits, ties, robes, hats, caps, sunvisors, belts, scarves, sleepwear, pajamas, lingerie, underwear, boots, shoes, sneakers, sandals, socks, booties, slipper socks; swimwear; masquerade and Halloween costumes; paper hats
Who or What Might This Affect?
Well, anything that falls within the above classes of products, that looks similar to the applied for trademark.
So, for example, all of these could well be in the firing line unless they are officially licensed:
What Else Does This Harry Potter Trademark Look Like?
There’s a function on the EUIPO website where you can search for trademarks the look like particular images. Here’s what the Artificial Intelligence at the European Intellectual Property Office thinks that the logo Warner Bros. Entertainment has applied for looks like:
If you reverse search an image in google images, this is what you get for similar images: