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Copyrights and Trademark Issues
 
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Posted:  02 Mar 2017 21:13
I've just started early work on a new novel featuring my version of Thor and Dracula and I ran into some interesting facts. I'm always concerned about copyrights and trademarks, and sometimes it can be difficult to find information on old characters that I presume are in the public domain.

For example, on Thor, I found one site that claimed that Marvel had put a trademark on the words, "The Mighty Thor" back in the 70's. So, I'm assuming then that unless you use those exact words, anybody can use Thor as he is actually a mythological character from several centuries back. Still, it can be a little scary thinking that unknown to myself or some other author they could be unknowingly trespassing on someone else's copyright or trademark and not know it.

I did find a government site and looked it up. https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database

There is a trademark from Marvel for The Mighty Thor, and there is also one from Marvel for Thor linen and bed materials. So, I assume they have trademarked Thor various products but can't do so for books as there are books and movies out there with the name Thor not related to Marvel's version of the character.

Dracula came up for cosmetics and wine and a few other things.

Hopefully, as long as it is just a book and puts a unique spin on things, I'll never run into any troubles, but if anybody has any input or links they'd like to share on the subject, please post.

Thanks.


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