It is not uncommon for businesses to be named after their founders… nor is it uncommon for famous celebrities and politicians to create businesses using their names. In both instances, a person’s name can become their brand and trademark. For a person’s name to be registered as a trademark it must be associated with goods or services in commerce (or soon to be in commerce).
For example, Sarah Palin recently filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register her name as a trademark. The service that she is using her name to sell and promote is a website featuring political issues and motivational speaking.
Sarah Palin is certainly not the first politician to trademark their name. In fact, one of the fist U.S. Trademarks was granted to Paul Revere as a trademark for his pots and pans. The Revere cookware lives on today.
The only downside to using your own name as a trademark is that if you sell your business and trademarks… then you sell the commercial use of your name in association with the type of business you established. (…This may not be much of a downside if you negotiate a good price.)
For more on the power of trademarks –-> Owning a Trademark = Power (Exclusive Use of a Trademark) and www.kasterlegal.com
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
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