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Celebrities Trademark

50 Cent

Celebrities are known for doing some outrageous and frivolous things, but you may have noticed that some celebs have trademarked things like catchphrases and the names of their children, but not all trademark requests are easily approved and some celebrities will receive a trademark rejection notice.

What’s the big idea, and should you be paying attention to these intriguing albeit strange trademark trends? Here’s what you should know.

It’s a Game of Association

If you’ve ever experimented with word associations, then you know where we’re going with this. In today’s marketing-saturated, consumer-driven world, words matter. Specifically, words like brand names and slogans matter. It’s why companies like McDonald’s and phrases like “That’s hot” are known all over the world.

When we hear well-known phrases or see a familiar restaurant or retail logo, we automatically conjure up images and goods related to it. Marketing pros have known this forever, but now celebs are cashing in on this phenomenon, too.

The Secret to a Successful Trademark

Most of the time, it’s all about achieving commercial success. If a consumer hears a brand name or sees their logo and instantly equates that with high quality goods and services, then that trademark is doing well. Of course, it’s not all about commercial performance, but if a trademark can earn a celeb more money, then why not?

For instance, rapper 50 Cent has a registered trademark on his name, so if he grants permission to any products or companies to use it, he will generate some money from its commercial success. That being said, if a business uses the rapper’s name without his permission, then he can sue them because his name is a registered trademark.

Trademarks Grow a Celeb’s Influence

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These days, it’s all about being everywhere at the same time. A registered trademark can help celebrities do just that, no matter what niche they’re in. Even athletes can reach people who aren’t into sports by using their trademarked name or catchphrase on retail products.

Say a professional athlete starts using his or her name on cookware or reusable water bottles. Even people who don’t know who he or she is will start seeing the name plastered on these everyday products, and that will grow his or her sphere of influence.

Trademarks Protect a Celebrity’s Social Status

Sometimes a registered trademark is more an act of security than one of trying to cash out. A good example of this is Stephen Hawking.

He applied for a registered trademark on his name when he noticed that individuals and brands were using his name and likeness to sell products, some of which demeaned Hawking or supported ideas that didn’t reflect his values. By obtaining trademark registration, Hawking was given the right to sue these entities for using his name to promote their own interests and make money.

This can be an interesting dilemma, as many celebrities are already rolling in riches, so it seems in poor taste to trademark their name or catchphrase to stop people from making money off of it. However, it makes a lot of sense. Would you want someone using your name or likeness to promote their own company and make a profit? Probably not, and celebs are no different.

This is why you might notice that a lot of famous people trademark their children’s names. They don’t want random strangers benefitting or profiting off of their baby’s name. One of the most high-profile cases of this is Beyonce’s children, Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir, Carter.

Business owners and entrepreneurs take note; registering a trademark, either by yourself or through a specialized attorney service like the one offered by Bonamark, can be a surefire way to protect your brand image, and prevent ne'er-do-wells from cashing in on your hard-earned success. Like many celebs, you worked your tail off to be where you are now, so don’t let someone else spoil it.

Jessica Davison

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