Can a business actually trademark the name of an military unit?

UPDATED: May 24, 2011

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Can a business actually trademark the name of an military unit?

Walt Disney applied for a trademark for the military unit Seal Team Six.  I plan on using Seal Team Six as a central part of my novel which I am about to publish. Will I be breaking the law?

Asked on May 24, 2011 under Business Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If this is an actual unit and you are using the name, your lawyers who review the book (publisher's legal counsel will review) will determine if the name of an actual military unit is public such that you can name it without involving a trademark violation. Usually trademark violations come in to play regarding a product. Your book is not the product, so as long as the book is not a copy of the script Disney is using then it really should be no problem. Further, just because Disney applied for a trademark doesn't mean it will get it.

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