David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld

5Feb/11142

Is Your Name Also a Trademark?

By David Lilenfeld on February 5, 2011

This blog entry was inspired by Sarah Palin and her daughter, Bristol.  No, I am not about to get political, so keep reading.  Instead, the famous Alaskans have given me an opportunity to write about trademark law's treatment of  personal names.

Sarah and Bristol Palin have applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register their names as trademarks.  Ms. Palin claims she uses SARAH PALIN in connection with providing “[i]nformation about political elections” and “motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values.”  Bristol says she uses BRISTOL PALIN in connection with “motivational speaking services in the field of life choices.”  Here are their applications: Sarah/Bristol.

Will the Palins have a hard time obtaining these registrations -- “you betcha”!

A person cannot register her name as a trademark without a showing of “secondary meaning.”  Secondary meaning is a high standard to meet.  In connection with personal names, it is achieved when the public has come to recognize the personal name as a symbol that identifies the service (or good), in contrast to identifying the person.

The mark SARAH PALIN is used to identify a person, not a service.  In other words, the public does not connect the name SARAH PALIN with a particular service, but rather with a particular person, at least not yet.  The same reasoning applies to Bristol, perhaps even more so since she does not have same level of notoriety as her mother.

Secondary meaning tends to grow out of a long association of the name with a particular business.  Secondary meaning requires that, in the public mind, the primary meaning of the name as a word identifying a person has been lost in favor of identifying the business.  Examples of personal names which have acquired secondary meaning – and therefore are protected as trademarks -- are RONALD MCDONALD, HOWARD JOHNSON and, to a lesser extent, MARTHA STEWART. Indeed, it takes time before the name and the business become synonymous in the public mind.

So, if you hear a loud “doggone it” coming from Wasilla, that means the Palins just received a final refusal to register their names as trademarks.  It's on the way.

Filed under: Q&A Leave a comment
Comments (142) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I visited several sites but the audio quality for audio songs existing at this
    website is truly marvelous.

  2. Hey there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site
    looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to resolve this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    With thanks!

  3. Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

  4. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out
    some additional information.

  5. For newest news you have to visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this web site as a most excellent web
    site for most up-to-date updates.

  6. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and
    our entire community will be thankful to you.

  7. I think this is among the most important information for me.

    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is great, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

  8. Since the admin of this website is working,
    no uncertainty very shortly it will be famous, due to its
    quality contents.

  9. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who
    had been conducting a little research on this.

    And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your
    web page.

  10. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  11. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to
    go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to
    say keep up the good work!

  12. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part :) I care
    for such info much. I was seeking this particular info for
    a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  13. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.
    I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the foreseeable future.

    I want to encourage you continue your great posts, have a nice day!

  14. If you want to grow your experience just keep visiting this
    web page and be updated with the hottest information posted here.

  15. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it.

    I have got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

  16. Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this
    web site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to
    read more, thanks for the information!

  17. Tremendous issues here. I’m very glad to peer your article.
    Thank you so much and I’m having a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  18. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and
    our whole community will be grateful to you.

  19. Hi, its pleasant article regarding media print, we
    all know media is a fantastic source of data.

  20. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after
    going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  21. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m
    not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share.
    Cheers!

  22. Thanks for some other fantastic post. The place else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing?

    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such information.

  23. If you desire to improve your familiarity simply keep visiting this web site and be
    updated with the most recent gossip posted here.

  24. It’s the best time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time
    to be happy. I’ve learn this publish and if I may I desire to recommend you few attention-grabbing things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating
    to this article. I wish to learn even more things approximately it!

  25. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward
    for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  26. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from
    right here. I did however expertise some technical
    issues using this website, since I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get
    it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web
    hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will
    very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for
    a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  27. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I should check things out.

    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  28. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s
    tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various
    websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to
    another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  29. I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

  30. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to
    be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.

    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

  31. I really like looking through a post that will make
    people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  32. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks,
    as I found this post at this web page.

  33. magnificent issues altogether, you just received a new reader.
    What might you suggest about your post that you just made
    some days in the past? Any sure?

  34. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the
    favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my
    web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  35. Thanks for finally talking about >Is Your Name Also a Trademark?
    < David Lilenfeld Blog <Loved it!

  36. I am really thankful to the holder of this website who has shared this great piece of writing at here.

  37. I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a
    issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  38. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part :) I care for such
    information a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time.

    Thank you and best of luck.

  39. Great article! This is the type of info that should
    be shared across the web. Disgrace on the seek engines for now not positioning this submit higher!

    Come on over and visit my site . Thank you =)

  40. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your publish is just excellent and that i could think you’re
    an expert in this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep
    up to date with imminent post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the rewarding work.


Leave a comment


*

No trackbacks yet.


Go to top ↑
-->