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Can I use somebody’s name as a trademark?

A person may trademark somebody else’s full personal name, much like they could trademark their own full personal name. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will grant registration status only to names which are considered distinctive enough in that there are very limited instances of use of the name. If the name being filed for trademark registration refers to another currently living person, that person must first grant permission to file the name as a trademark as part of the filing process. If the name is a made up name and does not refer to a person, then there are no permission.

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For more information on intellectual property, please visit Patent, Trademark, Copyright Information.

The content of this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice and does not create attorney-client privilege. Consult the attorney of your choice before embarking on any legal matter or any document preparation/filing.

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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30339
770-777-0977
http://www.trwiplaw.com
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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100 - Atlanta, Georgia 30339