It’s common practice among the world’s celebrity elite to trademark either their own names and catch phrases, or their children’s names.
Recently we heard that the Kardashian-Jenner sisters have filed to trademark their children’s names, after trademarking their own. TMZ reported that the sisters filed documents to trademark Kim’s children Saint West, North West and Chicago West, Khloe’s daughter True Thompson and Kylie’s daughter Stormi Webster. According to the online publication, the sisters want to use the kids' names on products including a clothing line, toys and skin care products.
The Kardashians are also not the first and won't be the last.
Victoria Beckham has successfully trademarked her daughter Harper Beckham’s name to protect her name and allows her to produce branded products using the name. The BBC reports that Victoria has trademarked Harper's full name in Britain and Europe.
But, not everyone is successful. Forbes reported that in 2016 Beyoncé and Jay Z struggled to trademark Blue Ivy’s name after events company, Blue Ivy Events, already had rights to a trademark for Blue Ivy.
Baby names are also not the only things to be trademarked. You will remember our very own Cassper Nyovest filing to trademark #FillUp, after his #FillUpTheDome concert hashtag went viral. Cassper took to Twitter to say that trademarking #FillUp is an attempt “to protect my ideas and build a sustainable career”.
So how does it work if you would like to trademark your name, ideas or your baby’s name for a business ventures in the future?
In South Africa, the place to go is the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
We spoke to Tshiamo Zebediela, CIPC’s communications officer about what the protocol is should you want to secure the bag using your own name and ideas.
Tshiamo says when you apply for a trademark, the Trade Marks Act requires that there be a date of application already to be used or a definite intention to use the mark in future in relation to the goods/services applied for. The cost for an application will set you back R590 per mark, per class.
Another point to note is that trademarks are geographical. Tshiamo says when you apply in South Africa the trademark is only protected in South Africa – and the principle of use will apply.
As stipulated on the CIPC website, if you want to apply for overseas protection you must approach a trade mark attorney in the relevant country to register the trademark for you.
The commission defines a trademark as a brand name, a slogan or a logo. It “identifies the services or goods of one person and distinguishes it from the goods and services of another”.
A trade mark is also renewable every 10 years. The commission does notify the trademark owner six months before renewal is due, however, it says it is also the responsibility as a trademark holder or owner to apply for renewal timeously.
And when your trademark is registered you can go about your venture. Shoes, bags, or even a skincare ranges – like the Kardashians – you can trade mark all of these, as long as the idea is unique to you.
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