Protecting Your Magic Creations!

It really annoys me when magicians complain about having their tricks ripped off when they haven’t taken the most basic steps to protect them. I’m not an advocate for knocking off magic tricks, but I am an advocate for magicians to put on their big boy pants and realizing that once they sell a trick, they are in business and it’s a different set of ethics.

Most magic tricks would require a patent to fully protect it, however those aren’t guaranteed to be approved, take time and costly. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to patent a magic trick, but there are other easier and cheap. The good news is there are other ways to protect your magic!

Two Simple and Effective Ways to Protect Your Magic Tricks

The first way that I protect my marketed magic tricks is formally registering the copyright for the ad copy, art and instructions with the US Copyright Office. Yes, I understand that technically you have a copyright the moment you put the words/art into a physical/digital form, however it’s not enforceable until you get the registration number. I’ve have great success in having knock off products removed from eBay and AliExpress by using my copyright registration numbers.

Registering copyrights is cheap at under $100 if you do it yourself and it’s not hard to do.

Trademarking magic tricks

The second way I’m trying to protect my business is new. I just trademarked the name Louie Foxx, so it’s now officially Louie Foxx ®. Having the trademark stops people from using my name on knock off or counterfeit products.

I filed for the trademark myself and while it wasn’t hard to do, I did have to do a little bit of back and forth with the examiner. It was more procedural stuff and not remotely difficult. I think it was less than $300 for the first 5 years. It did take 14 months for it to finally be approved, so it takes some time, I do think there is a way you can pay more to speed it up.

So there you have a couple of easy and relatively cheap ways to give your marketed magic tricks basic protection.

PS I’m not an attorney, so you should probably contact someone more qualified for legal advice before making any decisions.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property…

It drives me nuts when magicians complain about magic tricks being “knocked off” or “stolen”, but they didn’t take the most basic steps to protect them. It doesn’t take much to register a copyright on the art and instruction for whatever trick you are putting out.

Before you say it, I’m aware that in the USA your work is “copyrighted” the second you create it. The issue is that you can’t enforce that copyright without a registration number. Sure, you can send a “cease and desist” letter, but without a copyright registration, you really can’t legally enforce it.

Magician’s love to say that “show business” is two words and the business is important. It is, and it’s time for magicians to actually look into the business part when releasing tricks. If they did what businesses do and legally protect their intellectual property it really wouldn’t be an ethical issue. It’s pretty cut and dry.

It’s a business decision to not patent a trick that you are releasing due to the cost or time it takes to get a patent. That’s fine, but you have to live with that decision.

out for beers magic trick

Recently I put out a trick called Out For Beers. This trick uses an original visual gag combined with the Out To Lunch Principle. I really like the gag, and wanted to protect it as it’s something that would be easy to knock off. For $65 in filing fees, I was able to copyright the gag. I’ve copyrighted stuff in the past, and it’s always taken 6-9 months, however somehow I got lucky and this one was process in less than a month!

copyright magic trick

What this certificate and registration number does is allow me to quickly force sites like Ebay or AliExpress to remove the knock off or unauthorized version of the trick from their websites. This doesn’t guarantee that my stuff won’t get knocked off, but it’s gives me a tool to fight people who are knocking off my stuff!