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.).
See Google News coverage here.
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):
GoAnimate.com: SARAH PALIN THE TRADEMARK by STUCK IN INDIANA
TIP: The USPTO registration process is full of obstacles, rules and issues. Using an experienced trademark lawyer is advisable.
Here is a similar story
I try not to blog about the trademark stories that are all over the place. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that I am a snob. I always knew that if “everyone was going” to see some movie, I was not interested in going unless some other reason could balance out the inherent flaw of popularity. This is not a particularly meritorious quality of mine, but this is just between us.
Even less meritorious, when you have one of these popular trademark stories — like the Palin trademark situation — I figure if everyone is all over a story, well, it’s covered, right? Let me find the story everyone else isn’t writing about. Plus, why risk blowing it? Lots of people know this stuff better than I do.