can TV show be patented?
Posted in the Patent / Trademark Law Forum
#1 Apr 24, 2008
I am just curious if TV show can be patented in US or in other countries?
#2 Jan 22, 2009
You can't patent a TV show. Patents, theoretically at lease, aren't intended to protect ideas, facts or concepts. If you fix it into a tangible form, you may be able to obtain copyright protection, provided it meets the criteria for copyright protection. Certain phrases, slogans, etc may also possibly qualify for trademark protection or copyright protection. Copyright protection is difficult to get for titles and slogans, if they are deemed too insubstantial or short.
It has been a controversial area, and there have been producers who have been prepared to pay royalties for game show ideas, so there is always the possibility of obtaining royalties.
However the best you can do, other than seeking copyright protection for a particular emobidiment of the performance or work, is to seek a confidentiality agreement which at least offers some protection. The idea/concept is not in and of itself subject to protection of any kind.
#3 Dec 29, 2010
I have an idea for a reality show and I think it would be great. Since I can patent the idea do you think I can ask the producers I meet with to sign a good faith contract where they promise not to steal the idea? How would I go about to get copyright protection?
“Your Patent Partner”
Since: Jan 13
#4 Jan 27, 2013
TV shows may be protected by copyright. Patents are meant for inventions not expression of idea.
#5 May 11, 2013
Only products or processes can be patented, not just ideas, therefore the show would need to incorporate a device and that device would also have to be capable of production. When the Rubick Cube was in patent a show built around it would of course benefit from the patent and the show would also help the sale of of the puzzle. These days you can do the whole patent process online, internationally. Even applying for a US Provisional patent is not the cheapest way to go, apply for a UK patent and you get a year to pay any fees and your UK Filing Date is good for your Non-Provisional US Patent. Therefore if nobody is interested in a year, just abandon your patent and it has cost you nothing. If someone is interested the royalty advance can pay the fees. A great cheap Amazon ebook which explains all this is DIY Patent Online - you can read some of it free. They also have a website but aren't trying to sell their services, just telling you how to patent without an attorney who must love them!
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