Is It Possible to Trademark a Name?
This is a common query among business owners because many people use their personal name as their business name. A lot of people in the entertainment industry also try to trademark their names. In this blog, we will include all the important details to know about this topic.
Registering your name as a trademark is only possible in some cases, as specific criteria must be met. Fortunately, an experienced entertainment attorney can assist you in the entire process. An attorney can do a proper investigation to determine your eligibility to trademark the name. From advising you on the documentation required to taking all the necessary legal steps, they can stand by your side in this journey to make everything easier.
When can you trademark a name?
To answer this question, we must first define what a trademark is. A trademark is an exclusive right granted by the government to use a word, name or symbol to identify a specific brand. It also provides the owner with other legal rights such as preventing others from printing the word or symbol on their products.
On the other hand, not registering a trademark can create many issues if any other business or person uses the same name, logo, design, or phrase for themselves. This may tarnish your image or make it difficult to prove the authenticity of your original products. This is why it’s important to protect and register your trademark with the government.
If you want to trademark your name, it should be distinctive from just a word, name, or surname. As per U.S. Trademark law, a name that is “primarily merely a surname” cannot be protected. To get a trademark of your name and surname, you need to prove its distinctiveness or secondary meaning.
Certain factors are considered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in granting a trademark to a personal name. Some are these factors are:
- Is the applicant’s surname rare enough? If your surname is not shared by many others, you have a better chance of getting it trademarked.
- Does it have a different meaning than being just a surname? An applicant’s surname that has some purpose and is not just a meaningless word is more likely to be approved.
- Does the surname have any particular “pronunciation and structure”?
- Is the name unique enough to create an impact on others? If the name is uniquely crafted in an out-of-the-box format to make a business impression, you will likely get the trademark.
- Is the proposed trademark created in a tremendous creative format? Designing a mark in an innovative style is essential if you want to use it for business purposes. It should not look just like a surname but should impart a lot of creativity.
People tend to design a trademark by combining the first initials of their name and surname to ease the process. This way, the trademark does not look like a mere “surname,” but will represent your business in a distinct manner and can be easily used to promote brand awareness.
Consulting an experienced New York Trademark Attorney may help you know all the relevant details about the law in your city. To avoid legal hassles and make this process a smooth journey, you can connect with a legal professional.
Things to know about Trademarking an artist’s or author’s name
In some cases, a celebrity’s name can be trademarked if it is done for the right reason. In other words, they must use their name to generate revenue from various product lines such as music albums or books. This type of trademarking will not only make the person famous but will also help in business.
In the entertainment industry, trademarks are vital to protecting the authenticity of an author or artist’s work. Having a trademark will help to prevent theft or copy of original content, so artists and authors should not forget to trademark their names. As per USPTO, an artist or author seeking to trademark their name must show that their name appears on at least two of their original works; for example, two book covers or albums.
An experienced entertainment attorney will be able to guide you through the process of securing a trademark for your name. They can also inform you about protecting your name through the right of publicity law in addition to your trademark. This will help you ensure your rights are protected and prevent future hassles. The purpose of trademark law is to provide more protection for your work; hence, this is a process you should not delay. A trademark law professional can assist you in ensuring the trademark application process is done correctly so that you can secure your rights and interests.