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How to Register Trademark on Celebrity Names

A trademark means any work, logo, colour, design which distinguishes the work from others. Though trademark registrations is not compulsory, but it is advisable to register them to reap exclusive benefits. Celebrities can reap economic benefits by registering their names as trademarks.

With the incessant celebrity worship that is prevalent in India, there has been a growing practice of using the name of a celebrity for publicising the brand. The reason behind such dishonest practices is that usage of a celebrity name increases visibility in the minds of the customers.  Most people can’t have a trademark registration for their personal names but Celebrities can have trademark protection of their names to protect the financial integrity of their Brand.

When a celebrity files a trademark Application on his/her name, it helps protect the financial integrity of that name, which can be an important financial asset. Registering a trademark allows the celebrity to file a suit to preclude other people for misusing the name without permission. Trademark registration in India also provides the celebrity’s assets with stronger means to protect the economic and monetary value of the celebrity’s name post death.In order to prevent others from having any undue advantage of their goodwill and brand, there has been becoming a trend amongst famous people to Protect their name Legal via Trademark Registration.Getting a trademark protection allows celebrities to prevent others from using their name for misleading commercial purposes. It provides them with a mechanism to preserve the financial value of their Brand name as well as provide their estate with better means to protect the monetary value of the celebrity’s name as a Brand even post death.

As per the Trademark Act, 1999:

There is no provision in Trademarks Act 1999 (hereinafter referred as the “Act”), which allows or disallows registration of names. Thus it is completely safe to assume that TM registration of personal name is possible and fully allowed. As stated under Section 2(zb) of the Act, “trade mark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colors”. As stated in the of the above definition, its made strictly clear that a brand can’t be registered in isolation so as to protect the brand value of an Individual. Therefore if a celebrity wants to register his/her name it should be with respect to a particular class of goods or/and services.For eg., Paris Hilton got a TMon her name for sale of clothes and perfumes,whereas David Beckham also got his Brand registration for clothing, footwear and headgear.Shah Rukh khan also fileda Trademark applications to register ‘SRK’, in almost all the 45 classes. However one needs to keep in mind that if the registered trademark isn’t used for a period of five consecutive years, then that mark may be removed from the IP registry’s register. If a celebrity registers aTM for his/her name that doesn’t mean that they can stop others from using the name with regard to all goods and services. It actually means is that they can stop others from using the TM in respect to those TM classes of goods and services in which they have got a Registration.

Though celebrities in India have also begun to take pre-emptive measures,such Brand Protection measures have greater prevalence in other foreign countries like the United States. This can be ascertained by the fact that many International Foreign celebrities have already registered their names as TM; for instance, Beyoncé has a trademark registration on her daughter’s name, Blue Ivory Carter, with respect to Trademark Class for baby products. Salman Khan too has his Brand Name registered with his clothing brand ‘Being Human’.

Company Vakil has a vast experience in providing Brand Protection to a lot of celebrities in Indian Entertainment Industry, to protect your Stage names or your Production House names via Logo or wordmark Registrations, check out their portal and get your Intellectual Properties protected today.

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