Recently, I’ve had a lot of people send me emails. They’re asking about celebrities and trademarks.

Why? Well, Tom Brady filed for something called TOM TERRIFIC, although I think that nobody calls him that. And, recently, LeBron James filed for TACO TUESDAY in marketing, advertising and podcast services.  Of course, the Obamas have their production company called HIGHER GROUND Productions and they’re actually fighting to get somebody else’s trademark canceled in order to register their particular trademark.

Frankly, all of this is really typical.

A lot of people who have written me emails are very concerned about these particular phrases coming off of the public domain. Well, yes, but that’s the point of trademark law. 

We pluck these phrases from out of the public domain and well for very specific uses. There’s a specific reason for the use of these phrases and the use of, well, TOM TERRIFIC, even though I don’t think he will get that – or TACO TUESDAY.

TACO TUESDAY for marketing and advertising services or a fight between a former president and another enterprise company for the phrase , HIGHER GROUND: none of that phases me. All of that sounds like Wednesday. 

That’s really the essence of a trademark law practice:  we’re plucking phrases out of the public domain for a very specific use and only for a very specific use; one that is defined in the trademark registration and then one that can be argued over and can be fought over and may be blocked.

Just because of celebrity is doing it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s any limitation on language because that celebrity doesn’t have superior rights to anybody else who is not a celebrity.

This is why I encourage all of my clients from the very beginning to do a thorough search of trademarks to understand that trademark use and trademark registration go hand in hand and to understand that in order to maintain your registration, what that use needs to look like.

Therefore, all of your rights, if you’re not a celebrity, are exactly equal to those celebrities who are filing. And don’t worry, Tom Brady’s not going to get that trademark. His rights are inferior to some others. I’m Anthony Verna, Managing Partner of Verna Law, P.C. where we focus on intellectual property, patent, trademark, copyright, trade dress, domain names and advertising law.

Thanks very much for listening.

Anthony Verna Video Blog 14: Celebrities with Trademarks do not Have Superior Rights than You
Anthony Verna Video Blog 14: Celebrities with Trademarks do not Have Superior Rights than You