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Mr. and Mrs. Bieber file for trademarks based on their names

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

In September, pop star Justin Bieber and model Hailey Baldwin tied the knot. Now, Hailey Bieber is taking serious steps to preserve rights to use her new name for business purposes. TMZ reported that she has filed a trademark application to register "Bieber Beauty" for use in marketing a line of cosmetics and beauty products. In October, she reportedly also filed an application to register "Hailey Bieber" to use as a clothing-line brand.

Mrs. Bieber was following in the footsteps of her husband who last year filed for three trademarks based on his middle name -- "Drew," "House of Drew" and "La Maison Drew" -- for use in branding his clothing and fashion lines.

The Biebers set an example of early attention to protection of trademarks. Other entrepreneurs across a wide variety of industries and businesses should take note. Branding and logos are often part of the original business plan, and talking to an experienced trademark lawyer early on can start the process of conducting trademark searches to determine whether the prospective marks are available.

If so, legal counsel can assist with applications for registration with a state or with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as well as internationally, if desired.

A federally registered mark has the presumption of validity and gives the owner exclusive rights in the trademark nationally. If an applicant has not yet used the mark, the USPTO also has an "intent-to-use filing" that allows the applicant to secure an earlier filing date. This kind of filing requires scheduled future filings, fees and mark usage to secure full registration.

In today's markets, it is also important to discuss with an attorney how to secure and protect Internet domain names for the business as early as possible.

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