Disney’s new series The Mandalorian conjures the iconic image of a space-faring mercenary clad in the ubiquitous armor. The character Boba Fett was the first to wear the armor and for almost four decades it has been a seminal part of all things “Star Wars.” Fittingly, the protections afforded to the idea of the armor mirror the protection the armor provides its wearer. Like the armor, intellectual property law provides various layers of protection with copyrights, trademarks & patents.
Copyrights protect original works of authorship. Copyright protection can be extended to pictorial, graphic and sculptural work, such as the distinctive design of Mandalorian armor.
Trademarks protect words, symbols, or phrases used to identify and distinguish merchandise. Most commonly you would seek trademark protections for distinguishers such as logos. Lucasfilm, Inc. has registered the logo for The Mandalorian for a variety of uses from digital media, to software and costumes for use in role-playing games. Could interstellar bounty hunting be next?
Finally, a patent allows the holder to exclude others from making, using or selling its invention. Utility patents protect a new and useful process, machines or improvements. Emphasis on the “useful.” While Mandalorian armor is supposed to be an advanced combat suit, the “local sets” manufactured on Earth provide no protection and are not “useful” for purposes of a utility patent. Design patents protect any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Lucasfilm, Inc. holds a design patent on its 1982 Boba Fett action figure, but as we have yet to see an application made for a true Mandalorian suit with all its advanced protections, the utility patent has not yet come to fruition.
The Kendrick Law Group understands the importance of an idea and how important protecting your intellectual property is to long-range success. Our skilled attorneys are available to research and help you determine whether and how to protect your ideas no matter what galaxy you are from. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Co-Written By: Fernando Paredes, Attorney