Date: 16-04-2021 by: Banca IP Law Firm
Is it possible to register a celebrity's name for trademark?
Trademarks contain prominent and popular elements of names and images that will be interested and selected by consumers. Many organizations and individuals have applied trademark applications under famous people’s names, but are these trademarks actually granted protection?
Conditions for trademarks to be protected
Pursuant to Article 72 of the Intellectual Property Law in 2005, a protected mark must satisfy the following conditions:
Condition 1: Visible sign.
Condition 2: Be able to distinguish.
In addition, Article 73 of the Intellectual Property Law in 2005 stipulates that the following signs are not protected in the name of trademarks:
1. The sign is identical or confusingly similar to the national flags and emblems of countries.
2. Signs that are identical or confusingly similar to symbols, flags, badges, abbreviations, full names of state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations or organizations socio-political profession, social organization, socio-professional organization of Vietnam and international organizations, without permission of such agency or organization.
3. The sign is identical or confusingly similar to the real name, nickname, and pseudonym, image of the leader, national hero, or celebrity of Vietnam or of a foreign country.
Is this possible to register for the name of famous people?
The concept of "celebrity" is not specified by intellectual property law.
Usually, a celebrity is understood as an individual, organization or group known to the public and widely recognized in one or more areas of activity. Famous people here can be singers, actors, beauty queens, models, inventors, entrepreneurs, etc.
A celebrity's name includes real name, nickname, pseudonym, image of the person, organization or group.
Celebrities include leaders, national heroes, celebrities of Vietnam, and foreign countries according to Article 73 of the Intellectual Property Law in 2005.
E.g.: Lenin; Obama; Tran Hung Dao…
1. Trademark registration of famous people who are leaders, national heroes, celebrities, of Vietnam or foreign countries
The determination of what is the leader, national hero, or celebrity is not specified in detail. Therefore, when individuals file a trademark registration application, the NOIP will clearly identify this sign with practical information and will decide whether to grant a diploma to an individual or an organization.
However, almost all signs of the trademark related to leaders, national heroes, celebrities of Vietnam and of foreign countries are refused for protection.
2. Register other celebrities's names as trademark
Other famous people do not include leaders, national heroes, Vietnamese and foreign celebrities. For example, names of singers, artists, soccer players ...
The registration of trademark with the names of these characters may be granted protection titles by the NOIP because they do not violate Clause 3, Article 73 of the 2005 Intellectual Property Law.
However, Clause 5, Article 73 of the Intellectual Property Law stipulates:
"Article 73. Signs are not protected in the name of trademarks
5. Signs that mislead, confuse or deceive consumers about the origin, features, utility, quality, value or other characteristics of the goods or services".
An individual or organization that applies for trademark protection of a celebrity's name may make consumers think that the trademark is provided or owned by that celebrity, but in fact, it is not. Therefore, the registration of the celebrity names can be seen as having an element of confusion for consumers
For the procedure for filing a famous person's name trademark registration procedure, the NOIP will require the applicant to prove that the celebrity's name registration has been approved and authorized by that person. The use of this name does not affect the consumers and affects the personal image, reputation, or honor of those celebrities.
If a celebrity submits his/her own application to register his or her own name, there is no need to prove it according to the above provisions.
All in all, individuals and organizations can have a chance to register for trademark of the celebrity's name if that person is not the leader, national hero, or celebrity of Vietnam or of a foreign country.
Translated by BANCA Co., Ltd. - Source: ttps://luatvietnam.vn