Can You Trademark Your Own Name?
A common question new entrepreneurs, business owners, and social media influencers ask is, “Can you trademark your own name?”
The answer is yes — it is possible to trademark your own name. In fact, that’s exactly what celebrities like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and more have done. Here’s how you can do the same.
Requirements for Trademarking Your Own Name
Trademarking your own name is only possible if it has business or commercial value. You need to either use it prominently in business or have plans to do so in the near future. Celebrities that trademark their name often do so because it’s part of their brand, and they are using it or plan to use it for commercial purposes, such as selling merchandise.
The other key requirements for trademarking your own name are:
The name must be unique.
The name must not be used by other people or businesses.
The name must not create confusion with other trademarks, even if it does not have the exact name.
Surnames are often denied as a trademark, due to their inherent lack of uniqueness. However, exceptions may be made if the surname can be proven to be truly rare and distinct.
How To Trademark Your Own Name
There are two primary steps to trademarking your own name.
The first step is a trademark clearance search. You need to conduct a thorough search of all existing, expired, common law, and even pending trademark applications to ensure the uniqueness of your intended mark.
Then you can actually apply for the trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You or your attorney will need to open a USPTO.gov account and submit all paperwork through their Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
Seek Legal Assistance When Trademarking Your Name
The USPTO strongly recommends seeking legal assistance when applying for a trademark. The trademark application process may be short but can still be quite intricate. A small mistake or issue on your application can result in someone else trademarking your name first.
An experienced trademark attorney can help you avoid such complications. In particular, they can provide valuable assistance and advice during the trademark clearance search.
The Bottom Line
You can trademark your own name. However, you can only do so if you are using your name or plan to use it for business purposes. Most importantly, your name needs to be one-of-a-kind if you want to trademark it.
I’d be happy to help if you want to know more about your trademark legal rights! Reach out to me anytime at https://www.mdgrlaw.com/book-online or (754) 800-4481.
I am located in Florida, but I can help anyone around the world with U.S. trademarks.
Legal Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. This post does not contain legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by Attorney Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth after a legal retainer agreement has been signed. This material is copyrighted by MDGR LAW.