Last week news broke about Sarah and Bristol Palin attempting to register their names as trademarks with the USPTO. This news, to me, was not extraordinary. Many celebrities and entertainers protect their name. And they should protect their name – their name is their ticket to financial success and has great value.
The media has picked up and written hundreds of short and long stories that reference the trademark applications. A majority of the stories have some or all of the facts wrong (people often have their attorneys sign the application; the have not been flat out rejected, they have 6 months to respond to the Office Actions, the registrations would only cover the services listed therein, etc.).
Here is an animated video someone made that aptly captures the viral nature of this story along with several misconceptions about trademark registration (before anyone emails me, I realize the video is comedy):
TIP: The USPTO registration process is full of obstacles, rules and issues. Using an experienced trademark lawyer is advisable.