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Valid trademark on personal name

debateforclass
Posts: 1
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11/20/2011 9:29:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
My debate topic for class is: A person SHOULD have a valid trademark on a personal name. I have researched this topic and have only found articles that say people should NOT have valid trademarks on personal names. I am looking for ideas or arguments to support my topic. Please give me your opinions or let me know where else I should look.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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12/14/2011 10:12:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/20/2011 9:29:52 AM, debateforclass wrote:
My debate topic for class is: A person SHOULD have a valid trademark on a personal name. I have researched this topic and have only found articles that say people should NOT have valid trademarks on personal names. I am looking for ideas or arguments to support my topic. Please give me your opinions or let me know where else I should look.

>I didn't see this post until now, so it's probably too late to help you, but I'll respond anyway.

The purpose of a trademark is to provide a unique identifier for a product or service. People get names from their parents, but products have to be named by their manufacturers. The reason for the trademark system is so consumers won't be confused by competing products. McDonalds has a trademark on "McDonalds" so that other restaurant chains cannot confuse customers by using the name that McDonalds has spent so much money establishing. Courts ruled that a hotel chain calling itself "McSleep" infringed on McDonalds trademark because the pattern of the name might confuse customers into thinking the chain was a part of McDonalds.

To be valid, a trademark must be used on a product that is actually offered for sale. Reserving a trademark and not using it is not allowed.

Trademarking a person's name is ridiculous, because a person is not an article of trade. Therefore there are no consumers to be confused. A person's name can be trademarked, but only if it is used to name a product. "Ferrari" gave his name to the cars he made, but the car name is what's trademarked.

Another possibility is to propose that people be able to copyright their names. A copyright means the name must be unique. That's really pointless, because it is rarely a point of confusion when two people have the same name. If someone wants a unique name, they can just add a couple of middle names like "George H.W. Bush." Many countries have fewer family names than the U.S. There is a law against using an identical name to commit fraud.

Incidentally, book title cannot be copyrighted, only the contents. Anyone can call their book "Gone with the Wind."
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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12/18/2011 6:15:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/20/2011 9:29:52 AM, debateforclass wrote:
My debate topic for class is: A person SHOULD have a valid trademark on a personal name. I have researched this topic and have only found articles that say people should NOT have valid trademarks on personal names. I am looking for ideas or arguments to support my topic. Please give me your opinions or let me know where else I should look.

A trademark is associated with a particular product. A copyright permits one to use something exclusively. Thus BandAid is a trademark but the copyright has expired. Should is the past tense of shall which means must or have to. Thus, as a matter of law in the US not only do you not have to trademark your name, the government may never force you to. Your name is already your private property once you are 18.

If a teacher came up with the topic, they should be fired.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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12/19/2011 7:58:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, a trademark provides for exclusive use of a product name. The error, I think, is that people are not products.

I'm guessing that the teacher was getting at the notion that government should ensure that each person has a unique name, or at least that the people who want unique names should be entitled to a guarantee.
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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12/19/2011 3:33:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/19/2011 7:58:17 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
Well, a trademark provides for exclusive use of a product name. The error, I think, is that people are not products.

I'm guessing that the teacher was getting at the notion that government should ensure that each person has a unique name, or at least that the people who want unique names should be entitled to a guarantee.

Don't start with me, I have no need for your colloquial jargon. Stay with your own uneducated minions.