Trademark refusal: Title of a single creative work

Your trademark won’t register if it’s only used as the title of a single creative work. However, if your trademark is the name or title of a series of creative works, it may register. You need to provide evidence that shows the title is being used for the entire series, not just one creative work in the series.

For example, the book title "The Tipping Point" identifies a single book and the film title "The Manchurian Candidate" identifies a single movie. However, C.S. Lewis’ "The Chronicles of Narnia" books, National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered" radio programs, and "The Twilight Saga" films are each a series because they identify more than one creative work under that name. 

Similarly, your trademark won’t register if it’s only used as a portion of a title of a single creative work. For example, the title portion "The Magic School Bus" that’s in the book title "The Magic School Bus: Going on a Field Trip"  is considered a portion of a title. But, a portion of a title of a single creative work may be registerable if the name of a portion of a title:

  1. Identifies that the title portion is being used for a series of creative works;
  2. Creates a commercial impression that’s different from the complete title; and
  3. Is promoted and recognized as a source-indicator for the series.

For more information, see TMEP §1202.08.