Recently, The Hollywood Reporter published an article entitled “Why Warner Bros. Trademarked Nightwing,” which detailed the stark divergence of opinion among the major US movie studios on the importance of formally registering trademarks for their film properties. For example, Warner Brothers and Walt Disney have aggressive trademark filing pro- grams. Each owns more than 5,000 active trademarks in the United States alone and likely thousands more internationally.

While this may be an interesting academic dif- ference of opinion among the major studios, and certainly one with economic consequences consid- ering that formal trademark protection for large merchandising programs can be very expensive, the fact is that trademark registrations are critical for licensor-brand owners seeking to develop licensing and merchandising programs. This article addresses why formal trademark protection is standard in the licensing to read full article