Meryl Streep Files To Trademark Her Name
Meryl Streep, 68, has applied to trademark her own name so that it cannot be used by others in the entertainment industry.
Intellectual property lawyer George Sevier told the BBC that celebrities usually trademark their names earlier in their careers, and that Streep might be doing this to keep movie-related websites from using her name commercially. He also said that this wouldn’t keep people from referring to the actress online.
“I don’t know if it’s late in Meryl Streep’s career,” Sevier told the BBC. “Maybe she’s got a long career ahead of her. But she’s older than most people trademarking their names.”
According to Legal Zoom, most personal names can’t be trademarked, but if a name is closely associated with a product or service — often referred to as a secondary meaning — it can be trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make sure no one else makes money off the name, as a celebrities’ name is associated with a brand.
Streep isn’t the first celebrity to try and trademark her name. 50 Cent (whose real name is Curtis Jackson), Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter and Stephen Hawking all have trademarks filed for their names. Carter’s and Hawking’s trademarks are still pending.
Other celebrities have filed to trademark certain phrases associated with them. Boxing announcer Michael Buffer has the rights to the phrase “let’s get ready to rumble,” and Tim Tebow trademarked the phrase “Tebowing” in 2012.