Netflix Files Trademark Applications For Squid Game

04 November 2021

Netflix Files Trademark Applications For Squid Game

A review of the recent filings made before the Bureau of Trademarks of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines reveals that Netflix has filed two recent trademark applications for “SQUID GAME”. The applications consist of a plain word mark and another with the stylized “SQUID GAME” logo. Both filings cover multiple classes including classes 9, 16, 18, 21, 25, 28, and 41.

This is a matter of strategy, says Arjel P. de Guzman, Founding Director of OPTMARKS. "Prudent trademark filings by experienced practitioners would aim to give the right owner the broadest protection as much as possible," he says. "Such is the reason why aside from the filing for the registration of a wordmark which in itself is broad enough, others would elect to file the actual stylized logo version of the mark to protect the look and feel of the mark apart from its verbal elements. This way, dilution may be prevented because colorable imitations of the mark, though employing different verbal elements, may still be proceeded against by the mark owner."

He adds that since intellectual property rights are generally territorial, the trademark registration made and acquired in the Philippines would grant rights and privileges which the trademark owner may only enforce within the Philippine jurisdiction.

"That is the reason why multinational enterprises maintain a global trademark portfolio that aims to obtain trademark protection from different jurisdictions," he says. "A simple online search would reveal that Netflix has filed several similar filings for the “SQUID GAME” mark in different jurisdictions including the US, EU, China, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Malaysia, to name a few."

With regards to unauthorized use of merchandise, he says that he has yet to encounter any in the case of “SQUID GAME”.

"However, with the global popularity of this magnitude, it does not take long for certain entities to take advantage and ride on the show’s immense popularity by selling unlicensed merchandise," he says. "This is why certain trademark filings cover multiple classes which aim to provide the trademark owner exclusivity to produce tie-up merchandise within the classes covered by the registration."

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