Livestreaming on Twitch or other platforms is a great way to share your hobby with the world at large. There are streams for video games, make-up tips, writing, music, art, tabletop gaming, and more. But many streamers find that they are able to monetize their hobby through sponsorships and ads. They sometimes even make a career out of it!
On Twitch, the largest streaming platform today, top streamers make millions in advertisements and sponsorships. Viewers can gain benefits by subscribing to their favorite streamers for a small fee, and streamers can ask fans to help them meet certain financial goals. So with so many streamers making careers out of their passions, it’s surprising that so few take steps to protect their brand. Here’s why we think you should.
Do You Need To Trademark Your Brand As a Twitch Streamer?
Technically, there’s nothing that says you must register a trademark for your brand as a Twitch streamer. Only one person can hold a particular username, and if you’re a casual streamer, that may be enough to help you stand out. However, if you hope to make a career out of streaming, you want to make sure that you are recognizable from other streamers.
If someone else starts streaming with a similar username, logo, or gimmick, it can easily confuse your fans and send them to the new streamer. Even if this is not your full-time job, if you rely on fans to keep streaming, you should think seriously about protecting your brand with a trademark registration.
What Brand Elements Can You Protect As a Twitch Streamer?
Your username, or streaming tag, does not necessarily need to be trademarked. However, if that brand stretches beyond your Twitch stream to other areas of the internet, it’s a good idea to register a trademark for your brand name. If you plan to open up a merchandise shop, trademarking your brand becomes especially important.
To register a trademark on a brand name, you’ll need something that is unique and distinctive, not something that thousands of other streamers might choose by mistake. You can also trademark:
- Brand logos
- Unique slogans or taglines
- Color schemes
- Words made up for your brand
Benefits of Protecting Your Brand As a Twitch Streamer
The truth is that as soon as you start to make money from a hobby or passion, you need to start thinking about it from a business perspective. You need to ensure that your fans can find you and that someone else can’t profit off your brand, taking money away from you. Protecting your brand as a streamer offers a number of benefits, including:
- Ensuring That No One Else Can Use Your Brand. If you trademark your brand name, you ensure that no one can sell merchandise with your brand on it, misrepresenting you to fans and profiting off your hard work.
- Allowing You to Pursue Legal Action Against Infringement. It can be difficult — if not impossible — to sue someone over infringing on your brand when you haven’t taken the steps to trademark it. When your brand is protected, you have concrete proof that it belongs to you, proof that can hold up in court.
- Boosting Recognizability Among Fans. When you have a recognizable trademarked brand, it will make it that much easier for your fans to find you across various platforms.
- Enabling You To Grow Your Channel. Do you hope to one day open a merch store or take your Twitch stream to the next level? Maybe you look at brands like Critical Role and want to do something similar? It all starts with protecting your brand.
Do you need to protect your brand as a growing Twitch streamer? Garcia-Zamor can help! We have over two decades of experience when it comes to intellectual property law, including helping our clients protect their unique brands. Contact us today to learn more or to set up a consultation.