Wichita, KS asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Texas

Q: Can someone patent, trademark, or copywrite their first, middle, and/or last name?

3 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Not a candidate for a patent.

35 USC 101 Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

Getting a patent is hard as you need to prove that the idea is not just new but non-obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art who is assumed to be all-knowing of all relevant facts.

I will let others address other forms of protection including rights of publicity and other such rights -- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights#:~:text=The%20right%20of%20publicity%2C%20often%20called%20personality%20rights%2C,likeness%2C%20or%20other%20unequivocal%20aspects%20of%20one%27s%20identity for an introduction so you will know what to ask your attorney.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Kathryn Perales agrees with this answer

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero
Answered
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Miami, FL

A: Generally, a trademark that is primarily a surname does not qualify for placement on the Principal Register unless the name has become well known and has acquired a secondary meaning. Until then, surname marks can only be listed on the Supplemental Register.

Kathryn Perales agrees with this answer

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales
Answered
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Oberlin, OH
  • Licensed in Texas

A: No, you can't copyright your name. Names, titles, and phrases are too short to merit copyright protection.

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