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Can I Trademark My Real Name? [60 Second Law Bite]

Hi everyone, this is attorney Brian Russ coming at you with another 60 second law bite. This one is on, can a person trademark their name? The answer is yes. There’s absolutely no reason why a person cannot trademark their name unless it is statutorily prohibited. There are reasons why people cannot trademark a name, just like any other brand name, right? Maybe somebody already has it has a trademark on that name. Maybe somebody has a name that is confusingly similar. Like I saw one recently where there was I guess a dispute or maybe some concern at one point between the musician Beck and the political commentator Glenn Beck. Beck the musician had trademarked his name first, and then Glenn Beck tried to get a trademark. I think they both have trademarks now and they’re both registered, but there was some back and forth with the USPTO on it. I think the problem I see most common is that people want to trademark their name, just maybe their last name and it’s primarily a surname. Generally the trademark office will not approve that unless you can show that you’ve acquired distinctiveness, so usually five years of use in the marketplace, other names such that you know, consumers would not be confused when they see it, but other than that, I say go for it. Hire an attorney. Let’s work together and get it done.

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