Can I Trademark my Name?
Can I trademark my name? Yes you can trademark your Name under certain circumstances.
If you are using a particular word, graphic, phrase or slogan on a Name, you can trademark it to prevent any other manufacturers from using it without your permission. For example, the mark “Tim Tebow” is a registered trademark for a variety of gadgets and Morgan Freeman for “entertainment services, namely, live, televised and movie appearances by a professional entertainer.” A Name trademark entitles the owner of the trademark to stop others from using their mark or a similar mark on a specific goods & services without their permission.
To trademark a Name the name must achieve secondary meaning – acquired distinctiveness to merit trademark protection. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will reject your trademark application if they determine that your word, graphic, phrase or slogan is absent a showing of acquired distinctiveness and likely push you to the Secondary Register.
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Can I Trademark my Name: Surnames
No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it … (e) Consists of a mark which … (4) is primarily merely a surname.
Can I Trademark my Name: Trademarking Fanciful and Arbitrary Names
Fanciful marks comprise terms that have been invented for the sole purpose of functioning as a trademark or service mark. Such marks comprise words that are either unknown in the language (e.g., PEPSI, KODAK, and EXXON) or are completely out of common usage (e.g., FLIVVER).
Arbitrary marks comprise words that are in common linguistic use but, when used to identify particular goods or services, do not suggest or describe a significant ingredient, quality, or characteristic of the goods or services (e.g., APPLE for computers; OLD CROW for whiskey).
Suggestive marks are those that, when applied to the goods or services at issue, require imagination, thought, or perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of those goods or services. Thus, a suggestive term differs from a descriptive term, which immediately tells something about the goods or services.
When can I use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ®?
Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to inform the public to your claim to the trademark, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol “®” only after the USPTO actually registers your mark , and not while a trademark application is pending. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal trademark registration.