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Can you trademark your baby’s name?

So you love your new baby’s unique name. You didn’t go with with John, Jackson or Jeb, but instead opted for something more colorful like Carter Seven… Brez Uno or Smith Yellow.

Maybe in the back of your mind you think, “My kid could be a superstar one day.” Naturally you may want to protect his or her name. Can you trademark your baby’s name?
I started thinking about this question after a New York designer caused a stir this week when he tried to trademark Jay-Z and Beyonce’s daughter’s name, Blue Ivy Carter.  Yup, a guy with a children’s clothing line thought “ca-ching, ca-ching” and applied for the trademark on January 11th (a mere 5 days after the baby’s birth).

Classy, huh?

Can a random stranger trademark your child’s name? Nope. According to the US Patent & Trademark Office, as part of the review process they’ll ask the following questions: Is this the name of a person? Is this person living? Do you have consent? So that guy’s request is going to be shot down and he’s out the $325 to file the application.

But my wheels started spinning and I wondered could I, as a parent, trademark my kids’ names?

Again, alas, the answer is no. For a different reason though. The US Patent and Trademark offices grants trademarks on goods and services. You can’t trademark a person’s name. But if you decided to have a line of unique baby leg warmers named “Brez Uno” then you could trademark the product.

“A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.” (US Patent & Trademark Office)

If you have other random questions you’ve always wanted the answer to, I would be happy to put my investigative journalism skills to good use. Email me at Lisa@parentsdesk.com or comment below:

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Category: Cool Stuff

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  1. [...] name — only in tinsel town, right? But other people were left wondering whether, in fact, you can register your child’s name so nobody else can steal it in real life or [...]

  2. [...] name — only in tinsel town, right? But other people were left wondering whether, in fact, you can register your child’s name so nobody else can steal it in real life or [...]

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