US Space Force to lose 1st battle? Netflix already secured trademarks for self-titled show, reports say
The streaming service filed a trademark application for Space Force as early as January of 2019, cementing its rights in multiple places, including Europe, Australia, and Mexico, according to Hollywood Reporter. The similarly-named arm of the US military – passionately endorsed by Donald Trump – owns only a pending application for registration in the United States.
The US Patent and Trademark Office usually grants trademarks on a "first-to-use" basis, which means that priority is given to whichever entity was first to put a name or a brand to use. But in many other countries, trademarks are reserved on a "first-to-file" approach – and this is where Netflix left the US military far behind.
Netflix's Space Force debuted in late-May; it satirically portrays a fictitious orbital fighting force and the political context around it. The main characters in the show are members of America's top military brass as well as a handful of space exploration geeks.
All in all, trademark law generally allows for the use of similar names in different industries. But as Hollywood Reporter notes, a legal battle could break out if the existence of the two Space Forces plays into merchandise confusion, with customers unable to see who makes a product they buy, Netflix or the US Air Force.
Aside from the branding issues, the US Space Force, founded with great fanfare last December, was caught red-faced when it emerged that their logo conspicuously resembled Star Trek's famous Starfleet emblem.
It's almost comical. Almost. pic.twitter.com/0odsqdjsDE— Task & Purpose (@TaskandPurpose) January 24, 2020
The military, meanwhile, seems to be unwilling to engage in a dispute with Netflix. "At this time, we are not aware of any trademark conflicts with the fictional program Space Force produced by Netflix," the Hollywood Reporter quoted an Air Force spokesperson, politely wishing the service "the best in their creative depiction of our nation's newest branch of the military."
The force's official mission is to ensure the US has "space superiority" and to provide "offensive and defensive space control," among other objectives.Also on rt.com Space Force to manage secret US Air Force orbital mission with ‘MORE EXPERIMENTS’ than ever
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