Sarah Palin has filed applications to trademark her name and the name of the her daughter, Bristol. Maybe they’re coming out with their own line of moose shotguns?
It’s hard for an individual to trademark their name, but it’s not without precedent. Pop singer-songwriter Billy Joel has done it, for example. If Palin’s applications are granted, many politicians seeking to keep tighter commercial control of their images may well follow suit. Since President Obama was elected, the White House has openly grumbled about advertisers using Obama’s name and likeness to sell products. Last year, Obama aides publicly complained after the Weatherproof Garment Company installed a billboard in Times Square showing Obama wearing one of its jackets on a trip to China. But there was little the administration could legally do, since Obama’s image and name aren’t legally protected. The billboard was eventually removed—though not because of complaints.
If she gets approval, bloggers should then write Sarah Palin™.