It’s no secret that I love me a good musical. That’s why I am super-pumped to be seeing Hamilton in two weeks. The hip-hop musical about one of our nation’s founding fathers is the biggest thing on Broadway since Book of Mormon with the cheap seats going for over $500 a piece on StubHub (I purchased 6 months ago to get face value tickets). My excitement for the show led me to search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database for any filings related to the show. What I found was very interesting.
On June 3, just before the smash hit completed its transition from off-Broadway to Broadway, Hamilton International Ltd., the watch company, filed an “Intent to Use” application for the trademark HAMILTON BROADWAY. “Intent to Use” trademark applications are for trademarks that are not currently being used, but for which a party has a bonafide intent to use in the near future. To meet this standard, an applicant must be able to demonstrate an actual intent to use rather than mere subjective intent. Translation: If the folks behind Hamilton, the Broadway musical, opposed the application, Hamilton, the watch company, would likely be forced to show some actual plan to use the trademark HAMILTON BROADWAY. It is likely Hamilton watch could meet this threshold. Hamilton watch’s first series of pocket watches, released in the 1890’s, was known as the “Broadway Limited.” Hamilton watch does not currently sell any products under the Hamilton Broadway moniker. Curious timing for a relaunch?
Of course, all of this is speculative at this point. Hamilton watch may never submit proof of use sufficient to obtain registration or be refused registration on some other grounds. Even if Hamilton watch does ultimately receive federal trademark protection for HAMILTON BROADWAY, it would not necessarily preclude the makers of Hamilton from registering the same mark for different goods or services from the watch-related goods covered by the pending application.
That said, the URL for Hamilton is www.hamiltonbroadway.com. If Hamilton watch is successful in registering HAMILTON BROADWAY, a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding may not be far behind. UDRP proceedings are a means by which a party with a registered trademark can recover a domain name that infringes that trademark.
But enough about trademarks, check out this video about Hamilton and be sure to purchase your tickets now if you are planning to see the show in 2016!