chatsimple What Will Happen to Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up” Trademark?

What Will Happen to Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up” Trademark?

By: Barry Chase
: 3 Minutes to Read

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

What Will Happen to Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up” Trademark?

Moviegoers in Miami were likely saddened by the news that renowned film critic Roger Ebert passed away after struggling with cancer for many years. While he was known for his ability to provide reviews that appealed to a wide audience, many may not know that Ebert’s signature phrase — “two thumbs up” — was also his intellectual property. Now, it’s likely that his estate owns or will soon own his share of that trademark.

When Ebert teamed up with Gene Siskel on their long-running television program, they became known for giving films a thumb up or thumb down rating. If both critics agreed that a movie was worth seeing, they would give it “two thumbs up,” which is a phrase they created. Since this saying was essential to their brand and identity as critics and become a commonly used phrase, they understood that registering a trademark would be in their best interests.Trademark attorney Miami

Both Siskel and Ebert had ownership of saying, so it is likely controlled now by their respective estates. As such, the hope is that both men designated a trustworthy person to carefully manage their intellectual property interests. This trademark, depending on the exact legal arrangement, is likely to remain in effect for many more years.

Anyone working in the entertainment industry knows how valuable their personal creations are, which is why intellectual property rights are so important. For example, if other movie critics were to use the “two thumbs up” designation without approval, the Siskel and Ebert brand wouldn’t be as authoritative.

Of course, managing intellectual property is not an easy task. As such, aspiring and well-established entertainers alike can benefit from advice when it comes to protecting their professional identity.

Source: Yahoo Movies, “Roger Ebert: 8 Things You Might Not Have Known,” Mark Deming, April 4, 2013

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

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