Plush Toys – Protecting the Copyright, Trademark and Patent
If you have ideas for unique plush toys, it’s just right to do everything to protect them. Plush toys are very profitable and if you don’t cover all bases to protect your ideas, “enterprising” individuals will take advantage of it. They will be doing it “legally” because you didn’t do the things to lawfully protect them. The last thing that a toy inventor would want is to see his cute plush toys displayed somewhere and he’s not the legal owner of it.
There are three things that you can apply for to protect your plush toys ideas – copyright, trademark and patent. So what can you personally do to protect them? Here are the things that you can do to protect your unique plush toys’ copyrights, trademarks and patent:
Copyrights protect the overall look of your toy. For cuddly plush toys, it protects its “cuteness”. It will shelter the way the face looks, the proportion of the body and the likes. The toys features are probably the most important factor to protect since they are the most obvious and your selling point. Copyrighting is automatic – the moment you put your idea onto paper or even a napkin from the neighborhood deli, it is legally protected under copyright. However, it’s better if you can document it so that it will be easier to enforce. How do you document it? A lot of people believe that mailing yourself a copy of your idea via snail mail is the way to go. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. The best way to protect your plush toy ideas is to keep a note of all the relevant information that proves you as the owner of the idea. A notebook would do. Just take note of all your ideas and when you thought of them. You can add additional information about how you thought of the idea and where you thought of them. To further enforce it, keep notes of all witnesses. Just like in any legal proceedings, witnesses can win your “case” for you.
Trademarks protect your toys’ names and logos. Basically, your toys’ branding is protected. Your unique stuffed doll should have distinctive names so you can do things to protect them. An example of a trademark is the name Barbie. No one can use Barbie for a name because you will be violating its trademarks. This is a little expensive and not all toys should be covered by it. The best way is to ask for legal advice from a lawyer to see if it makes sense to apply for trademarks in your own case.
This is the most expensive among the three. Aside from being expensive, this is also the hardest to get. As an inventor of cute plush toys, it’s good to know that you probably won’t need them. But like trademarks, it’s best to ask for legal advice from a lawyer.
So check to see what applies to your stuffed dolls to know how you can protect them. It will be one of the best things you’ve ever done as a toy inventor.