Trademarking Your Show

One thing that still amazes me is how often magicians complain about people stealing from each other but they don’t take the most basic steps to protect their ideas. The myth is that you can’t legally protect a magic trick, but the reality is that you can. It’s through a patent, the problem with patenting magic is that it’s an expensive and time consuming process.

There have been some very successful magicians who have patented magic tricks. Yigal Mesika patents a lot of his stuff and of course the D’lite is a good example of a magic trick that was very successful where a patent helped protect it.

I personally use copyrights to protect my instruction sheets, art and ad copy. So I’m able to remove people that are pirating those. Then I use a trademark to protect my name, so that even if someone changes my ad copy, they can’t use my name. I have started to trademark the names of my shows, this makes it harder for people to steal the concept of my that particular show.

The challenge with trademarks is that they still take time. The current one I’m working on has been in the system for over a year and hopefully will be approved soon as I just got the notification of publication for it. That means is passed all of the internal USPTO objections and now it just needs to be put out in the monthly publication for normal people to object to it.

If you’re worried about having your ideas stolen, check out copyright.gov and USPTO.gov, they will give you a lot of information about the differences in IP and the processes.

-Louie

Protecting Your Magic Release

Something that always surprises me is that part of marketing a magic trick for most magicians isn’t registering a copyright for their pics, art, trailer and ad copy. Especially for the larger magic companies, where when you search for major releases on sites like AliExpress there are soo many knock offs or pirated copies.

magic trick copyright

For me part of the process once I get the final version of the art, instructions and ad copy is to register the copyright. This cost $65, so it’s inexpensive, and you don’t need an attorney to do it. Once you get that copyright registration number, it gives you a tool to stop pirated or knock off versions from being sold.

I just got my certificate for my Take Out Box trick in the mail the other day.

You can read about how I enforce my copyrights and trademark here:
http://www.magicshow.tips/evaporation/an-intellectual-property-case-study/

If you’re thinking about releasing a magic trick, make this part of your process.

-Louie

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.

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