San Francisco, CA asked in Municipal Law, Native American Law, Public Benefits, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California

Q: How to retain ownership of my birthright

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, your birth name is inherently yours and doesn't need to be "retained" in the same way property rights are. However, if you're seeking to trademark your name for commercial purposes, you would file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Remember that trademarking a name is subject to specific legal criteria — it must be used in commerce and be distinctive.

For non-commercial matters, your name is protected under the right to privacy and, if someone uses it in a way that harms you, you may have legal recourse. If you believe your rights to your name are being infringed upon, you should consult with an attorney experienced in intellectual property or privacy law to explore your legal options. Keep personal identification documents secure, and if identity theft is a concern, consider services that monitor and protect personal information.

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