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Old August 6th, 2004, 01:43 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
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How can I control a Movie Franchise

I am starting a comedy which I want to do sequels for. After I get distribution for the first one, how can I ensure that I have the sole rights to do any future sequels. I thought about trademarking, but from what I gather, trademarks can't be applied to regular words (ie., Bobby's Fun Day Off.) I guess the meat of my question is in regards to tittle ownership. Not only can you not trademark a movie tittle, but from my understanding, you can't even copyright it! (unless it is purely original, right?) Anyone know more about this stuff? Thanks.
Glenn Gipson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
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Lot of different questions in you post. Some of them legal, some of them not. First things first. It's a bit like asking for subtle variations for cooking rabbit.
"How to make rabbit stew... first catch a rabbit,"

You have to create a story that someone wants to distribute.

Next, get distribution.

That's an amazing hurdle to jump. Assuming you do this, then everything becomes negotiable. (I assume you are the writer and so controll the rights to the original material.) If so, and your project is soooo wonderful that your distributor will give you everything you want... no problem. Ask for the sky.

Assuming however, that you simply want to get your first movie made, likely you will have to sign away various rights. Your intellectual property rights are like a bundle, you can sell or trade away various parts to get what you want.

Titles can not be copyrighted.

Paul might jump in and make the appropriate comments here. I am not an attorney (I am just married to an IP attorney.) But she did represent me in my screenplay options.
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