Did you realize that the TV game show JEOPARDY! is celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall? The show is iconic and it has a number of features that make it unique. The name is simple and memorable.
After a little research at www.USPTO.gov, I was quite surprised to learn that the game show is lacking trademark protection in several key ways.
The name JEOPARDY! is protected in USPTO Registration No. 1545697. And the slogan AMERICA’S FAVORITE QUIZ SHOW is registered too.
But here is what is not protected:
- The JEOPARDY! Logo
- The configuration of television screens containing the answers
- The final questions music, which everyone knows and identifies with the show.
These last two items are “non-traditional” marks. I believe they could be protected here because the show is well known and long running, and these television board and the music have been consistent items in every episode for decades. And they have even been used in board game and computer game versions of the show.
Given the value of the show economically, I find it shocking that the the lawyers for the owners of Jeopardy! have not fully protected some of the show’s most valuable assets.
So according to what you’ve referenced per Jeopardy; if one were to print t-shirts with the word Jeopardy across the top followed by a original quote that they themselves created, would that be considered infringing on Jeopardy’s trademark?