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Can I trade mark my name

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Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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20 July 2011

Sarah Palin wants to trademark her name. The former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that is due to be approved within the next few weeks to trade mark her name. Palin's name would be trademarked for 'educational and entertainment services' as well as 'motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values,' according to her application. Her daughter Bristol, 20, has also filed to trademark her name, for motivational speaking in the field of 'life choices.'

'Essentially, what they are doing is trying to commercialise themselves' says Neil Friedman, a New York trademark attorney. It's rare for politicians to trademark their names, but Palin left office in 2009 and has since become a successful media and entertainment figure. She would trademark her name the way someone like Calvin Klein might trademark his.

This tale clearly applies to the U.S but what if you wish to trade mark your name in the UK?

You can register your name as a trade mark provided the Trade mark office of your country or the country for which you are seeking protection considers it distinctive ( in the UK it is the UK Intellectual Property Office-UKIPO). As to whether a name is distinctive or not depends on a variety of factors. Generally, the more common the name is the less likely it will be considered distinctive as there may be many others with the same name. Likewise, the more unusual the name is the greater the distinctiveness and the greater the likelihood that registration will be granted.

In any event, even if you have been refused registration of your name as a mark either for the reason that it was not considered distinctive or because someone else had already registered it you are not prevented from using your name in the course of your business for ordinary business purposes.

Jane Coyle is a Solicitor and can be contacted at jane.coyle@lawdit.co.uk. Lawdit Solicitors is a commercial law firm based in Southampton with associate offices in London Malaga and Rome. Telephone 02380 235979


About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-08-04 16:47:59 in Legal Articles

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