Celebrities are constantly registering for trademarks to protect and

monetize off their brand, but they take advantage of trademark laws. Although

certain trademark registrations are justified and necessary for brand

protection, others are not. Furthermore, allowing celebrities to have hundreds

of registered trademarks does nothing to achieve the purpose of trademark


This Note is about how celebrities excessively register trademarks for

their names and catchphrases. First, this Note discusses the background of

trademark law, including the difference between ® and TM. In addition, this

Note explains the ways in which celebrities can sue under the Lanham Act –

Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, and/or Federal

Trademark Dilution. The criteria that must be met in order to register a

trademark is also discussed. Next, this Note examines how some trademarks

are allowed to be registered while others are not. Lastly, this Note contends

that there is over-protection of celebrities and trademark law can be too generous

at times, which disadvantages non-celebrities and small businesses.

This note suggests that celebrities should not be allowed to have trademark

protection for a name or phrase if they are not already producing, selling, or

distributing products with the mark. In addition, celebrities should not be

allowed to register just their first name and should not be allowed to register

catchphrases that are common strings of words. With these proposed solutions,

the current law would have to change in order for the U.S. Patent and

Trademark Office to be stricter when deciding which marks should be registered.

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