IP: The birthing of celebrity brands: Lin-Tastic!

From “Linsanity” to Blue Ivy Carter, how celebrities trademark their names and personas

Celebrities are a brand unto themselves. For years, performers from Frank Sinatra to Adele have trademarked their stage names and personas. More recently, some of the more savvy celebrities—think Paris Hilton—have trademarked their expressions. And some of the shrewdest have taken the trademark trend even further by adding their children to their brand portfolio.

The celebrity “role” in trademark law—some background

Based on the wide array of goods and services recited in the application, Blue Ivy Carter could soon be at the center of a vast licensing empire. While licensing is indisputably an important part of a celebrity’s business, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s strategy probably was also defensive after two prior filings. The couple could be trying to stop others from profiting off the name. By covering so many categories, they make it more difficult for anyone else to use—or profit from—their daughter’s name, but U.S. law requires that they have an intent to use the mark for all of the goods listed.

The evolution of “star power”

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Douglas R. Wolf

Douglas R. Wolf is a Shareholder in  Wolf Greenfield's Trademark Group.

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Christina M. Licursi

Christina M. Licursi is an Associate in Wolf Greenfield's Trademark Group.

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