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Originally posted 2014-10-21 11:00:58.
Over the past two years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, has granted British singer and songwriter, Rita Ora, federal protection over the use of the mark “Rita Ora”. That’s right, her name is now registered as a valid trade and service mark for concert souvenirs, clothes, hair and makeup accessories, music recordings, and even her performances and/or services as a singer and songwriter.
This sounds weird right?! Rita Ora was granted federal trademark ownership of something that she has practically owned her entire life! Well, trademark law is founded upon the theory that a mark is being used to distinguish their goods and/or services from that of others. If the mark “Rita Ora”, as applied to these goods and services, is serving in a trademark capacity, and not merely in an individual capacity to simply represent who she is, she has the full ability to trademark her name as a brand.
This trademark protection comes with stipulations, however. (Yes, it’s your name, but they sort of can control how you use it). Ora’s name is only federally protected as applied to the goods and services listed in her trademark applications. Ora must actually continue to use her name and in a trademark capacity, in order to maintain protection. Most importantly, Ora must make sure that the primary purpose of her name/mark, at all times, remains to distinguish her goods and services from others. If her mark’s primary use ever reverts back to just merely being her name, she will be left with just that: her name, and NOT her trademark!
AMD LAW’s Tip of the Day: Your name could be worth millions, literally! (Just ask McDonald’s, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs)