One of my favorite pop culture trope: Celebrities trademarking anything, really. It was reported yesterday that Meryl Streep, Hollywood’s queen, has decided that her name can’t be used in just any old context. She has filed an application to trademark her name, requesting that the name Meryl Streep be trademarked for “entertainment services,” movie appearances, autographs, and speaking engagements.
All it takes is a cool $275 to start the process, which is less than I was expecting tbh. As it was last reported, Streep’s publicist and attorney didn’t return a request for comment explaining why the actress decided to trademark her name. It’s a common thing for celebs to do in order to protect their intellectual property and stop others from earning money via their name or using it without their permission. Will this stop the excellent Instagram account @tasteofstreep? I hope not!
Other celebs who have gone trademark-happy include Taylor Swift, who has filed a LOT of applications — 60 in fact — to trademark phrases like “This Sick Beat” and “Nice to meet you. Where you been?” That seems…unnecessary, but I guess I’m not T.Swift. A small scandal flared up in March 2016 when Kylie Minogue filed an opposition to protect her first name from being trademarked by Kylie Jenner. Beyoncé went head to head with a Boston event-planning company named Blue Ivy, who wanted to keep their name after the singer tried to trademark Blue Ivy to be used for a clothing line. Because there is some justice out there, the court ruled in favor of the event planning company, who had the name three years before Blue Ivy was born.
If you want to trademark your name, you first have to become very famous. Chron.com says “A person’s name can only be registered as a trademark if it is widely recognized in commerce.” BRB, going to buy 100,000 followers and audition for a few reality shows.