What Happens if My Trademark Contains a Name, Signature, or Portrait?

*The information for this blog can be found here.

 

If your mark includes a name, portrait, or signature that is of a living individual and you want to register the mark at the USPTO, you must provide the USPTO certain information regarding that individual.

The USPTO requires:

  1. A statement that the name, portrait, or signature identifies a living individual, and
  2. Written consent signed by the individual

Why? The USPTO wants a written consent to protect the individual’s rights of privacy and publicity.

When is consent needed for using the name, portrait, or signature of a living individual? When you use the:

  • Full name of an individual;
  • First name only;
  • Nickname;
  • Stage title;
  • Title;
  • Pseudonym; or
  • Surname.

Usually whenever the individual is well-know or famous or has public recognition under the name you are trying to trademark.

The USPTO provides some examples of names that could or do identify a particular living individual and for which a signed consent is required:

  • Full name: J.K. Rowling
  • Pseudonym (Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym for J.K. Rowling)
  • Stage Name (Cher)
  • Title (Prince Charles)
  • Nickname (THE BOSS for Bruce Springsteen)
  • Signature of a name (Bob Smith)
  • Portrait or likeness of an image (portrait of President Obama)

If the name, portrait, or signature identifies a particular living individual, you must provide both:

  1. Choose one statement:

“The name shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent to register is made of record.”

“The signature shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent to register is made of record.”

“The portrait or likeness shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent to register is made of record.”

  1. A written consent from the named/shown individual, personally signed by the individual, with the following language included:

“I consent to the use and registration of my name as a trademark and/or service mark with the USPTO.”

“I consent to the use and registration of my signature as a trademark and/or service mark with the USPTO.”

“I consent to the use and registration of my portrait or likeness as a trademark and/or service mark with the USPTO.”
If the name, portrait, or signature does NOT identify or depict a living individual, provide the following statement:

“The name, signature, or portrait shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.”

 

CONTACT US!

For more information regarding trademarks or really anything law/beer related, call us at: 919-335-5291 or email john@beerlawcenter.com

 

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