The USPTO has received an influx of applications for celebrity trademarks from celebrities wanting to protect their interests in the Metaverse. Let’s check out some of them.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been bombarded with applications for celebrity trademarks of late. These celebrities filed trademark applications to protect goods or services related to their names or brands in the Metaverse.
Such protectable intellectual property (IP), when considered in the context of the Metaverse, has a broad scope. It ranges from copyrighted content to all forms of trademarks, including brands, slogans, logos, packaging and design, or even design patent protection for unique configurations.
Import of Celebrity Trademarks
Filing celebrity trademarks has been a norm for many well-known personalities in the past two decades. Many celebrities who decided to file trademarks for their names have taken the entrepreneurial path and used their names to sell various goods such as fragrances, cosmetics, clothing, purses, jewelry, and the like.
However, although celebrities are used to receiving special treatment from others regarding celebrity trademarks, they are bound to the same laws and rules governing other trademark applicants. They, too, must adhere to the guidelines concerning the registration process.
The prevalence of interconnectivity and digital experience in creating virtual and augmented realities has given rise to the Metaverse. Tech experts and marketers refer to it as the new sphere of human interaction, which offers novel ways for different industries to increase scalability. It includes new business opportunities and new ways to promote products and services faster.
An integral feature of this development in the digital economy is interoperability. It means consumers can move virtual items like clothes or shoes from one platform to another. As a result, brand owners, whether celebrities or not, must consider IP strategies for leveraging innovation and business models.
That’s why celebrities with many business interests have taken it upon themselves to file celebrity trademarks. Now, let’s check out some of these celebrities who have registered celebrity trademarks for their names or brands associated with their names.
List of Celebrities with Celebrity Trademarks
A question looms, though. Should celebrities file trademarks for their names? Suppose a celebrity wishes to use his name and image for commercial purposes. In that case, it is highly recommended that he registers his name as a celebrity trademark, including any similar or relevant name.
If he doesn’t intend to sell merchandise, it is still advisable to register a celebrity trademark to prevent others from taking advantage of and abusing his name. A partner at the Jin Mao Law Firm in Shanghai, China, Cai Guo, said, “Even if the person does not have commercial intention, it would be advisable to make such registration to preempt abusive attempts of registration by other parties.”
Jenni Rutter, a partner at Dentons Kensington Swan in Auckland, New Zealand, agrees. She says, “We typically recommend famous individuals to proactively protect their own names or nicknames with trademark registrations. If celebrities don’t register their names as trademarks themselves, there is a risk someone else may try and do so.”
Now, let’s look at some famous individuals who, in their best interests, decided to file celebrity trademarks for their names, brands, or any similar or relevant name.
Stephen Curry—The National Basketball League (NBA) star is the latest to file a trademark application for “Curryverse” on October 26. Curry is set to establish his own take on the Metaverse to the over 650 million fans of the NBA.
Curry’s SC30 Inc. filed the celebrity trademark. If the USPTO approves it, it will give the four-time NBA champion exclusive rights for “entertainment services, namely, personal and virtual and Metaversal appearances.”
Aside from the abovementioned, the filing states the Curryverse will provide “online gaming services in the nature of virtual worlds.” Players can earn fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to buy or sell at an “online marketplace.”
Curry’s celebrity trademark application also covers business management and investment services, software as a service (SaaS) featuring software platforms for designing, promoting, selling and exchanging NFTs, charitable fundraising services, and virtual clothing and goods. With Curry’s 47 million Instagram fan base and 17.1 million followers on Twitter, his Curryverse will likely gain a lot of attention.
Kobe Bryant—In February, the late NBA star’s estate filed three trademark applications for virtual goods as his family intends to protect his name and legacy in the Metaverse. The filings were for “Kobe Bryant,” “Mamba Forever,” and “Mambacita,” referring to his daughter Gianna who perished alongside her father in a helicopter crash in 2020.
“There’s been this avalanche of trademark filings from different companies and celebrities to protect their rights as it pertains to things in the Metaverse,” said Josh Gerben, a Washington-based trademark lawyer. He tracks filings by athletes and others. Nevertheless, according to Gerben, Bryant’s estate’s filing of the celebrity trademark was the first he had seen from a pro basketball star, living or not.
Since Bryant’s death, his family has registered various trademarks that span footwear, apparel, and wine under Kobe Inc., which owns all of the basketball legend’s trademarks.
Miley Cyrus—The singer-songwriter took her name brand to the Metaverse in August, when she officially applied for different Metaverse and NFT-related trademarks. She filed the trademarks for “Miley” and “Miley Cyrus,” according to Mike Kondoudis, trademark and patent attorney “to the stars.” The trademarks will be for NFTs, virtual currency management software, virtual clothing, and footwear.
Snoop Dogg—The rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, filed trademarks for “Uncle Snoop” and “Uncle Snoop’s” with the USPTO in June. Per Kondoudis, the trademarks cover aspects such as clothing, headwear, footwear, virtual cannabis and smoking goods, marketplaces for NFTs, and digital collectibles.
David Beckham—The football legend filed several trademarks for his name, “David Beckham,” which covers NFTs and digital tokens, virtual clothing, footwear, headgear, virtual performances, and entertainment events. Beckham’s DB Ventures Limited, a global brand management company, filed the trademarks.
Billie Eilish—The recording artist filed trademarks for her name and the Blohsh logo with the USPTO in February. According to Kondoudis, they were filed because the singer plans to expand to the Metaverse and offer non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital collectibles, and software featuring virtual currency.
Muhammad Ali—The late boxing legend’s estate filed a celebrity trademark application for “Muhammad Ali” in 2021, and the USPTO approved it last October 18. The trademark covers goods and services in Web3, such as downloadable clothes and media that are NFT-authenticated featuring the boxer. It also covers virtual clothing, footwear, headwear, sports bags, equipment, musical instruments, art, toys, and accessories for use in virtual environments and settings.
There you have it—a list of celebrity trademark applications submitted to the USPTO. There may be more in the coming days, and as always, we will keep you updated.
Check out other Research!
Get to know more about NFT and tutorials at OmniMint. For more information on OmniMint, and details on how to join our community, please follow our Twitter, or subscribe to our Telegram channel for more updates and please feel free to submit your article.