I just tweeted yesterday about the need for YouTubers to register their trademarks and thanks to a helpful hint (thanks @RyanAlley) this is the exact reason why. Seems that someone has applied to register the trademark for MARKIPLIER but its not the famous guy on YouTube.
Youtuber, Miles Gateff, or MegaMilez, has filed three (3) separate applications to register the trademark for MARKIPLIER. MegaMilez does not appear to be connected to Markiplier in anyway, beyond using #Markiplier and #Pewdiepie to advertise his videos and social media posts.
The applications were filed on June 28, 2017 and Miles claims to have first use the MARKIPLIER trademark in commerce on the very same day, June 28th. Hmmmm. Funny, Markiplier has been using that name for a way longer time. To apply for an in use mark, evidence of the use of the MARKIPLIER trademark must be presented to the Trademark Office. Here is the example submitted to show use of the mark:
Seems Miles used Photoshop to create his “in use” sample, that I can’t find in use anywhere. And here is what appears to be the same image taken from a thumbnail from Miles’ own video.
Put it all together and something smells very very fishy. Either Miles is working with Markiplier to register his name in a covert manner orrrrr there is some serious fraud of the Trademark Office going on here. There are harsh penalties for lying to the USPTO. As part of the trademark application process, MegaMilez was required to declare that he believes himself to be the owner of the mark sought to be registered and that the mark is used in connection with his channel, under penalty of fines or even imprisonment.
This is an awful example and a reason why YouTubers, streamers, gamers and anyone who is known by a handle, screen name or gamertag to register their mark, before some troll swoops in an does it for you.
Thanks for the research provided by intern, Kathleen Riley, who is is a rising 3L at UNC School of Law.