The first Matrix film had the bullet time sequence, and people will most likely associate that technique with the movie.

Research into bullet time shows that it was used long before The Matrix (although it was most likely called something else), and the name was also used in the video game Max Payne (the name is the same, but the technique might be different).

From the wiki link, it states:

The term "bullet time" is a registered trademark of Warner Bros., formally established in March 2005, in connection with the video game The Matrix Online.

Can a studio copyright or hold ownership over any filming technique?

Does this mean if I want to use this technique in my own movie and I would have to pay WB money before doing it?

  • 3
    That's not what a "trademark/copyright" is...a trademark is a name not a method. That's what patents are for. – Paulie_D Nov 19 '18 at 15:41
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    "The term "bullet time" is a registered trademark" - It seems you can use it in your movie but you can't call it "bullet time"... – colmde Nov 19 '18 at 15:50
  • @Paulie_D - Can WB patent bullet time? – user67636 Nov 19 '18 at 15:54
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    What exactly would be in that patent? Remember, that you can achieve this effect using different methods. – Mouvier Nov 19 '18 at 15:58
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    Your link: Max Payne wa´s released in 2001. Trademark "Bullet time" was registered in 2005. Before 2005 anyone could use the term. – Mouvier Nov 19 '18 at 16:01

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