Monday, February 8, 2016

Mad Hatter as Trademark for Kitchenwares

Dear Rich: If a literary character is in the public domain, like 'The Mad Hatter' could I create a brand of kitchenwares called 'The Mad Hatter's Kitchen'? I understand I'd have to make sure any imagery didn't look like the Disney versions of the characters.
If you're registering the name "MAD HATTER" beware that Disney has registered at least seven MAD HATTER trademarks for, among other things, books, films, figurines, backpacks, clocks, jewelry, action figures and cell phones. Unless Disney can demonstrate a likelihood of expanding into kitchenwares, you should be entitled to register your mark (assuming you meet all other trademark requirements). On the other hand, Disney is an aggressive trademark owner and has a tendency to hassle those seeking MAD HATTER registrations for various goods (including cannabis). Prior to applying for registration, you should perform a trademark search of Class 21 (household utensils) and Class 11 (appliances) and Class 8 (hand tools).