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Famous Names as Trade Marks - Part 2


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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If a person or group is defunct the name is more likely to be seen by consumers as merely an historical reference to the subject matter of the goods or services, rather than to the trade source of the goods. However, each such case must be judged on its own facts taking account of the length of time that has passed since the person concerned died, or the group became defunct, and the relationship (if any) between the goods/services in the application and those associated with the dead person or defunct group .

The name of a famous person or group may serve to identify the trade source of badges of allegiance (including T-shirts, mugs, scarves etc) even if the possibility of other traders producing unofficial merchandise cannot be ruled out. Consequently, such marks will normally be accepted for such goods unless there is a particular reason to believe that the mark in question cannot fulfil the function of a trade mark, for example, the names of some members of the Royal Family may be incapable of performing a trade mark function for such goods because of the widespread historical trade in Royal souvenirs.

Famous persons or groups may serve as trade marks for printed publications, recorded sounds, films, videos, TV programs, musical performances etc as use of the mark on such goods or services would be likely to imply some form of control of, or guarantee from, the holder. Consequently, there will not usually be an objection to the registration of a famous name for these goods. The name of a famous person or group is likely to be perceived as merely descriptive of the subject matter of posters, photographs, transfers and figurines. Names of famous persons or groups are therefore unlikely to be accepted by consumers as trade marks for these goods because they will usually be seen as mere descriptions of the subject matter of the product.

Jane Coyle is a Trainee Solicitor with Lawdit Solicitors.

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 2008-07-27 14:41:27 in Legal Articles

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