What's in a name? For celebs, a pricey patent
International celebrities I from different walks of life are trademarking their names, in order to prevent people from cashing in on their popularity and using them in matters with which they ideally wouldn't associate. We list some whose names now come with a hefty price tag...
The latest to join the league is British physicist Stephen Hawking. The primary aim is to prevent the misuse of his name in “inappropriate products“. SARAH PALIN The US Patent and Trademark office revealed in 2011 that American politician Sarah Palin's application to patent her as well as her daughter Bristol names, had been accepted. The trademark would cover “educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values,“ as well as “information about political elections“ and “a website featuring information about political issues.“ Daughter Bristol Palin's name was also trademarked for “educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices.“
Rapper Curtis Jackson, who is better known as 50 Cent, who has his stage name registered as a trademark, filed a lawsuit against fast food company in July 2008, claiming that they had violated his trademark. Apparently, the chain had sent out a fake letter, suggesting that 50 Cent change his name to “79 Cent,“ “89 Cent,“ or “99 Cent“ to promote the company's Value Menu.The case was settled for undisclosed terms in November 2009.
Close on the lines of Stephen Hawking trademarking his name, British rock star turned physicist Brian Cox, who is the presenter of the series Human Universe, also made the move to trademark his name this March. Cox, who was also a keyboard player in the band Irish band D:Ream may have also patented his name to protect his reputation, for, a few websites were selling a Brian Cox doll, which was described as being as `cuddly as the brilliant Professor Brian Cox himself'.
VICTORIA AND DAVID BECKHAM
Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria have led the way in exploiting their names, after registering them, as well as Beckham Brand Limited. David and Victoria Beckham's value soared to more than £190 million after they successfully trademarked thei names, using them to sell everything from underwear to perfume. The couple has been rumoured to make £100,000 everyday, courtesy their names.
After a attempt failed in October 2012, couple Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z finally won the right to trademark their daughter Blue Ivy Carter's name in October 2013. Soon after, Jay Z told a magazine he trademarked `Blue Ivy' in order to stop others from profiting from his family.“People wanted to make products based on our child's name and you don't want anybody trying to benefit off your baby's name. It wasn't for us to do anything; as you see, we haven't done anything,“ he is quoted to have said.
Tennis star Andy Murray became a brand in early 2014 when the UK Intellectual Property Office accepted his application after he became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon Men's Singles Titles.Murray's trademark covers more than 100 goods including DVDs, sportswear, lingerie, baby clothes, slippers and pyjamas bearing his name.