Yes, you CAN trademark a YouTube channel.
You can trademark a YouTube channel name, logo, or slogan.
Trademarking your YouTube channel is an important step in building and growing your channel to its fullest potential. By protecting your channel with the big picture in mind, you will will gain more subscribers, have more videos, and generate more income in advertising revenue and sponsorships.
Trademarking your YouTube channel will give you exclusive rights to your channel name, protects your channel’s name, and prevents others from using the same or similar name. Trademark is an important step in building your brand identity for your channel.
If you are in United States and wondering how to trademark your YouTube channel, you will need to trademark your channel with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
While you can try trademarking yourself, it is not suggest as the trademark registration process can be very confusing and complicated. It’s best to seek the assistance of a trademark lawyer to help file your trademark.
Why Should I Trademark My YouTube Channel?
Trademarking your YouTube channel will…
- Give you exclusive rights to your channel name
- Prevent someone else from using your channel name without your permission
- Prevent someone else to use your branding materials to mislead viewers
- Allow your viewers to trust your brand
However, keep in mind that Trademarking your YouTube channel will not protect your content, such as your videos and pictures, but rather it will protect the way that your content is identified and promoted.
For example, even though someone else is not allowed to use your registered trademark without your permission, a registered trademark will not prevent them from creating similar videos.
When Should I Trademark My YouTube Channel?
If you are serious about your YouTube channel and make a decent amount of income from ad revenue or sponsorships, you should trademark your YouTube channel as soon as possible. In general, the sooner the better. Having a registered Trademark
To get a registered Trademark, you have to be actively using your YouTube channel. So if your YouTube channel is already established and you are frequently creating and uploading videos, then you will be able to trademark your YouTube channel.
If you are not quite there, you can still file an application for trademark, but it will be considered an "Intent to Use" trademark application" — which means even if your YouTube channel is not actively started yet, then in most cases, you can still file an Intent to Use application to get a head start with your Trademark registration.
Simply put, the sooner you file your trademark application, the better.
What About Trademark Infringement?
According to YouTube, Trademark infringement is "improper or unauthorized use of a trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion as to the source of that product. YouTube policies prohibit videos and channels that infringe trademarks."
According to YouTube, if you upload content on YouTube that uses another party's trademarks in a way that is likely to cause confusion, your videos can be blocked and your channel suspended.
So while it's important to register your own trademark, it's equally as important to not use someone else's trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion so your videos won't be blocked and your channel suspended by YouTube.
On the other hand, if your Trademark has been infringed, you can submit a trademark complaint through YouTube's Trademark complaint form here.
How to Trademark Your YouTube Channel
If you have any questions about trademarking your YouTube channel, comment below!