It comes as no surprise that celebrities and public figures often trademark their names. After all, their names make them money. Celebrities and public figures have to maintain tight control of their brand (i.e. themselves and their images) from being misused, confused, misrepresented, or diluted. However, name trademarking is not just for big-name celebrities or politicians. People who use their own names in association with, or to brand their businesses, like life coaches, authors, agents, and even doctors, may consider trademarking their names.
Why should I trademark my name?
There’s really only one reason and one condition that would warrant trademarking your name: using it in a business. As mentioned before, celebrities, professionals, and people whose names are their calling card, use them as a brand for their business. Trademarking your name will keep other people from using it for their own financial gain, but you must have a legitimate business reason for doing so.
When should I trademark my name?
Again, you should consider trademarking your name if it represents your brand or it’s used in commerce. Having some sort of business connection to your name is key, and the business use of your name must fit into the specific categories of products and services designated by the USPTO. But it does not necessarily have to be a for profit business. Non-profits and charities can trademark their brand too.
How do I trademark my name?
Before filing paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, consider how unique your name is. Unique names are easier to trademark than common or popular ones because there’s a good chance that no one has tried to trademark them before. You can read up on the Kylie vs. Kylie trademark battle for a celebrity example of this. Needless to say, if your name is John Smith, you may face some hurdles and challenges in securing a mark.
On the other hand, a stage name or pen name is often easier to trademark than a real name. They’re made up and aren’t readily connected in the mind to the good or service provided. Likewise, fanciful names are easier to trademark than real ones. It’s also possible to trademark arbitrary names. Like fanciful names, arbitrary names aren’t readily connected in the mind to the good or service provided. An arbitrary name may be a word that is completely made up or one that, in reality, wouldn’t represent the good or service provided.
If you’re still not sure whether you can register your name as a trademark, we invite you to contact our trademark lawyers for a consultation. We can help you review your options and ultimately file with the with the United States Patent and Trademark office if you decide it’s the right course for you. Simply contact 888-666-0062 to get started.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.
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