Q-I’ve developed a screenplay with (what I think is) a catchy title. Besides the cost associated with the application, are there any downsides to me trademarking the title? 


A-While the strict answer to trademark for a single work is “no,” that is not an answer that takes into account the practical business use of a screenplay title. Even an independently produced film with a tiny budget will contain a section of the formal business plan that will take into account any sort of ancillary revenues from merchandising and other licensing opportunities. Whether your script and title is a feasible concept from a marketing standpoint to justify investment to try to actually monetize revenue streams other than the “single work” (i.e. the screenplay/film) is not a question for the trademark office.

Bottom line, from my perspective, your catchy title is a descriptive word which designates the origin of a variety of goods (and potentially services), not just the single work which is the movie/screenplay. But yes, you will still need a qualified IP lawyer to handle your application properly.