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Netflix secured trademarks for ‘Space Force’ before US military could: report

The Netflix original comedy “Space Force,” which is based on the new branch of the military launched by President Trump, reportedly obtained trademark rights for the name before the government.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show secured trademark rights to “Space Force” in multiple places, including Europe, Australia and Mexico, while the Air Force owns only a pending application for registration in the United States. That means the show has more confirmed trademark rights than the U.S. military. 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office usually grants trademarks based on a “first-to-use” system, and Netflix filed for the trademark as early as January. 

Trump in 2018 directed the Pentagon to create a Space Force as the Department of Defense’s sixth military service branch. The move has been a talking point for the president in the past, with supporters chanting “Space Force” at his rallies in the months following the directive. 

The Netflix show named after the branch debuted late last month and follows Steve Carell’s character, who works as a general developing the new Space Force. In addition to Carell, who portrayed the popular character Michael Scott in “The Office,” the series also stars actors John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang, Diana Silvers and Lisa Kudrow. 

While most people understand the difference between the show “Space Force” and the military Space Force, the trademark could play into merchandise confusion if clothing or a mug, for example, were to hit stores and customers were curious as to who was actually selling the goods.

“At this time, we are not aware of any trademark conflicts with the fictional program ‘Space Force’ produced by Netflix,” an Air Force spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We wish Netflix and the show’s producers the best in their creative depiction of our nation’s newest branch of the military.”

Tags Donald Trump Intellectual property law Military Netflix Space force Steve Carell trademark
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