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Registering a Personal Name as a Trade Mark

Names are powerful. A name can be an imperative personal asset. It is about identity and reputation. A name also embodies the personality of the holder. Names can create a movement or break one, represent a value or take one down.

A person may want to protect their name, especially when a name reaches a high level of reputation and fame. Registering a trade mark can be a way to avoid or minimise third-party usage that translates to exploitation.

Such was the case for the Activist Greta Thunberg. She filed three trademark applications at the EUIPO, because of a growing unauthorised usage by third parties that falsely claimed affiliation with her and the movement she established.

In an Instagram post, she elaborated that she had applied for three trade mark applications. There was a trade mark application for her full name whereas the other applications were for two hashtags she uses when advocating for climate change awareness: ‘Fridays for Future’ and ‘skolstrejk för klimatet.’

These applications will prevent the unauthorized third-party use of her name for marketing, selling, and fund-raising. Furthermore, it will allow her legal team to start the necessary legal actions when someone violates that intellectual property protection. The application covered goods and services that range from advertising to scientific research services.

Should you register your name as a trademark?

In the EU and the UK, and, also Australia, the law allows for personal names to function as a trademark. However, the name must first be considered as a trademark and, therefore, must be intended and used for business purposes. Also, a trade mark application must meet the legal requirements for trade mark registration.

Such an application covers only the specific goods or services stated in the application. Someone can still register the same name under a different class unless any similarity between the trademarks will deceive or confuse the consumers as to the origin of the supply of the goods or services.

When applying for trademark registration using a name, there should initially be a “trademark search” to see that no one else is using the same name in the same or a closely related class. After all, the more common the name, the higher the likelihood of it already being registered.

Moreover, the name must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services claimed. A name will be capable of distinguishing unless the name as a whole is common and the goods and services are commonplace.

Trademark Registration for Business Goals

Names can be valuable assets like the world-renowned Greta Thunberg or any celebrity and consequently many designers and influencers do file trade marks to protect their names. Uncommon personal names are easier to register because you must ensure that your personal name can distinguish your business.

If your name is distinctive, you gain the exclusive right in the relevant jurisdiction to use that as a trade mark in relation to the goods and services that you supply.

Our Trademark Lawyers in Sydney are Experts when it comes to Registering Trademark or Trademark Opposition Process in Sydney

Bianca “Bianx” Ysabel, Digital Administrator

Contact W3IP Law on 1300 776 614 or 0451 951 528 for more information about any of our services or get in touch at
Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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