Beyoncé performs on stage.
Celebrities enjoy patenting all kinds of things: clothing lines, pseudonyms, slogans, and even catchphrases. They recently added another category to the list: the names of their kids.
The super musician couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z, for example They do everything they can To build legal protections around the name of their 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. And so is the Kardashian clan with many of their children.
In both cases, the reason for seeking trademark protection is often economic. Parents intend to use their children’s names on consumer products. It is said that Beyoncé and Jay-Z had on the minds of “Blue Ivy Carter” clothes, skin care products, perfumes and the like, which is why they filed for registration of their daughter’s name a few days after her birth.
Applicants must demonstrate “use”
However, the problem they face is that the US Patent and Trademark Office has a strict “use” requirement, which means that applicants must demonstrate that they are using the trademark now – not just seek protection for some potential future use.
This is why Blue Ivy Carter’s parents have so far failed to trademark her name. But they keep trying. Recently, the couple got involved in a legal dispute with a juvenile organization, Wendy Morales, who objected to branding the name Blue Ivy Carter because her business is called Blue Ivy. Beyoncé responded by saying that her daughter is a “cultural icon,” while Morales’s job is basically just a little potato.
The Kardashians, Meanwhile, they filed a batch of applications to register their children’s trademarks: Chicago West, North West, Psalm West, Saint West, Stormi Webster, and True Thompson.
Why strange names? Other than the possibility that parents love their voices, they also provide greater protection from commercial exploitation by others. “If Beyoncé and Jay-Z named their daughter Jennifer, for example, she would be one of roughly 2,000 Jennifer Carter in the United States and it would be difficult to prove that someone selling Jennifer Carter’s bed bumpers was trying to trade in the name of little Jennifer Carter,” wrote authors Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz Huffpost. “But when entrepreneurs scrambled to brand Blue Ivy, Beyoncé and Jay-Z took a preemptive step to protect their daughter’s surname from outside exploitation.”
What about people who are not famous?
These wealthy parents would likely be exempt if they seemed cranky because they are, after all, wealthy and can afford it.
But what about an average jane and a nut? Can they trademark their son’s name?
If you’re expecting a baby, could you dream about a strange name for them and start planning to apply to the USPTO?
The technical answer is: Yes, but why would you want that? It can only be useful commercially, and you will need to show that people will think of the product or service associated with your child’s name when they hear it.
You might be better off sticking to the traditional name. Besides, your baby may be happier with it.