- Paul I. Menes
What’s In a Name? Everything If You’re an Influencer, Actor, or Other Public Figure
I’ve always recommended that my talent clients, be they influencers, actors, or musicians, register their professional names for trademark as soon as possible. All of them have followed this advice, or are in the process of letting me do so.
Why is this so important? Because their name/brand is the primary way they make money, and they need to be able to control and protect it from unauthorized uses and other bad behavior by those looking to capitalize on it.
Registering their name as a trademark does this by:
Making it easier to get unauthorized content posted by others using the talent’s name taken down from social or elsewhere online.
Preventing others from getting domains using the talent’s name as part of them.
Preventing others from using the talent’s name to benefit themselves without their permission.
Preventing others from impersonating the talent online.
Assuring no one else registers it first. If that happens (and it does), the interloper can try to use it, or sell it to the talent, usually at a high price.
Being a great disincentive for people to trade on or monetize a talent’s name, since it puts teeth in cease and desist letters. Registration is required for talent to threaten the interloper with a lawsuit, and being able to file one for trademark infringement, where the talent can get all kinds of money damages, and have the interloper pay the talent’s attorneys’ fee and costs!
Registering a trademark isn’t expensive, but usually isn’t successful if attempted by someone unfamiliar with the process.
So, talent shouldn’t wait until someone impersonates, embarrasses, hurts their reputation, or makes money off their name. They should be able to stop it when it happens (and it will).
Just Sayin’ … TM
(C) 2021 Paul I. Menes