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Sarah Palin Seeks To Trademark Her Name 329

Posted by timothy
from the bob-dole-doesn't-trademark-his-name dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has filed paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office in November to trademark her name. On her initial application, Palin listed usage of the trademark for a website featuring information about political issues; and educational and entertainment services, including motivational speaking in the fields of politics, culture, business and values. Legal experts say it is relatively unusual for politicians to formally trademark their names because they are generally not associated with commercially valuable products or services and that trademarking a name is more common for celebrities in the fields of entertainment, fashion or sports. 'Sarah is somebody who is now out of government and pursuing other activities, in particular, speaking engagements ... and it looks like she's looking to protect her name with those activities,' says attorney Claudia Ray."
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Sarah Palin Seeks To Trademark Her Name

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  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:17AM (#35110746)
    Does this mean she's trying to prevent others from using her name in articles/posts/blogs/etc without her approval or consent? Will she be able to use the DMCA to force removal of anything negative about her that she does't like?
    • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by gclef (96311) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:21AM (#35110774)

      February is supposed to be "no Sarah Palin News Month". Please, Slashdot, honor the effort!

    • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:4, Funny)

      by publiclurker (952615) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:28AM (#35110806)
      Well, we can still use Clueless Bitch, right?
      • by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @10:46AM (#35111166) Homepage Journal
        Now that Ted Stephens is no longer with us, I propose "That jackass from alaska".
    • by wrencherd (865833)

      Does this mean she's trying to prevent others from using her name in articles/posts/blogs/etc without her approval or consent? Will she be able to use the DMCA to force removal of anything negative about her that she does't like?

      Probably not. She's a public figure and in that sense she's waived any exclusivity with regard to pretty much any aspect of her public persona.

      I know, I know, according to Sean Penn the public doesn't "own" celebrities, but I don't believe that they can be barred or made to pay to satire or critique the activities/opinions of those same famous folk.

      • 'Sarah is somebody who is now out of government and pursuing other activities

        The Palinator ... seeing as she pretty much wrecks everything in politics that she touches.

        The Dems are going to be VERY unhappy about this.

      • To expand on parent post: Yes, there is the argument that the public doesn't "own" celebrities; that celebrities retain a right to privacy. This applies to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as well as to Barbara Streisand and what's-his-name, the cute little boy action figure actor who is so big on Scientology. All those guys are entitled to some degree of privacy and a certain amount of control over how their name might be used.

        But Sarah Palin has moved herself from that group to another one by her deliberate

    • by tsj5j (1159013)

      DMCA is often confused with trademarks and patents.

      DMCA specifically addresses copyright infringement and DRM circumvention.
      It does not, and cannot, be used to threaten to take down a site based on trademark or patent claims alone.

      For those, you will likely need a lawyer to send a Take Down notice or file a suit.

    • No, it means that no other Sarah Palins can enter politics without changing their names. Trademarks cannot prevent people from talking about the subject of the trademark, only preventing people to promote themselves with the subject's name in the same field.

    • by moortak (1273582)
      No, she couldn't. It would probably allow her to stop someone from making a Sarah Palin TV show or magazine.
    • Does this mean she's trying to prevent others from using her name in articles/posts/blogs/etc without her approval or consent? Will she be able to use the DMCA to force removal of anything negative about her that she does't like?

      As the name implies, the Digital Millennium COPYRIGHT Act applies to copyright law, not trademark law. With a registered trademark, she can prevent others from using her name on commercial products where there's a likelihood of consumer confusion that she's endorsing, sponsoring, or created the goods. Like, if you sell "Sarah Palin's Gun Cozy," you'll get hit with an infringement suit. If you post a blog entry saying "Sarah Palin's a greedy doofus," this is entirely outside trademark law.

  • 1st Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:17AM (#35110748) Homepage Journal

    $10 says she uses this as a club to try to quell speech that she doesn't like.

    • Such as perhaps those fine people who produced "Who's Nailin' Palin".

      • by Jaysyn (203771)

        Exactly what I was thinking. I doubt she will have any luck shutting down anything from before she trademarked her name though.

      • Such as perhaps those fine people who produced "Who's Nailin' Palin".

        To be fair, the lighting in that movie was done very well. The back story (not to be confused with the on-her-back story) didn't get the same attention to detail.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      $10 says she uses this as a club to try to quell speech that she doesn't like.

      I've got $20 that says she actually ends up using a club to quell speech she doesn't like.

    • $10 says she uses this as a club to try to quell speech that she doesn't like.

      Sure, soon as you explain how selling a product with a false implied endorsement by Sarah Palin - e.g. "Sarah Palin-approved Real American Flags!" - falls under the first amendment. Commercial speech is not as protected.

      "But I didn't mean that! I meant purely political speech!"

      Yeah, and trademark law doesn't apply to non-commercial speech, so we're good here, no?

  • So now we cant make any more SarahPorn?
    • Unless it's included in "entertainment services" she seems to have made a mistake. Perhaps she realized that having the trademark listed for pornography would make her a laughing stock? It's also possible that wouldn't be granted because of prior art. Does prior art count for trademarks?
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Sort of, that's where eponymous words come into play, and you're not likely to get a trademark for a term that's already in use. Hence why you see all these stupid misspelled signs. They couldn't get a trademark for the name with its proper spelling so they misspelled it and there you go.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Get your Sarah Palin Love Doll [trendhunter.com] before it's too late!
  • by js3 (319268) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:20AM (#35110766)

    Maybe.. she's an entertainer pretending to be a politicans, infact did you know people PAY to hear the dumbest woman on the earth speak?

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Maybe.. she's an entertainer pretending to be a politican

      Oh, you mean like Ronald Reagan? People like that make perfect figureheads.

    • by ScentCone (795499)

      did you know people PAY to hear the dumbest woman on the earth speak?

      You're talking, of course, about Rosie O'Donnell? Or were you referring to Cynthia McKinney?

    • As an entertainer, it's fitting that she trademark her name like other with the same act, such as Lady Bunny and Jackie Beat.
    • by fermion (181285) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:02PM (#35111548) Homepage Journal
      That is the trend right now. The issue is that when one is actually trying to effect change, people like her really screw it up. For instance Sarah Palin came to Houston to speak at a forced birther conference. The conference happened to be held just before the gubernatorial race between the socially conservative Republican incumbent and the fiscally conservative Democratic contender. Now people in Texas are pretty conservative, and while many people don't believe in forcing birth, many are capable of discussing it, even those who do not vote republican. So what did Sarah Palin do: she started with a pitch for the Governor and pretty much insulted everyone that was not going to vote for him. Now remember, Texas is conservative. Many people who voted against the Governor, Perry, did so because he is fiscal liberal(his policies of hiding fiscal incompetence resulted in 25% budget shortfall for the coming budget) while knowing full well that the legislature would remain very socially conservative. While this would mean that no laws would be passed allowed doctors to assist in the suicide of the mother so that the child might live, neither would we have an increase in the number of 12 years girls who sell themselves for lottery tickets knowing they can get a easily available and safe termination. There was not reason for Sarah Palin to promote Perry in such a venue. It did not help the plight of the unborn child. It only helped Sarah Palin the prostitute sell herself.

      And this is why mixing entertainment and politics is wrongs. Entertainment is there to encourage people to pay to here you talk. Politics is there so people can have fair representatives to protect their interests as much as possible. Sarah Palin, as an entertainer, did not protect the interest of the unborn child. She used the unborn child to line her pocket as an entertainer, and in the process reduced the possibility that we as a country can come together and discuss the issue rationally. Now, I don't want to pick on Sarah Palin. There are entertainers on all sides of all issues that are willing to harm the democratic debate to personally promote their earning potential. These people we do not need.

  • by Goody (23843)
    Does this mean I can't use the Sarah Palin name on my brand of specially-bred mutant jackasses I'm going to sell?
  • ...is an effort at branding herself. And I'd be happy to help her. Can I start the fire and hold the branding iron, dear Sarah?
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Saturday February 05, 2011 @09:47AM (#35110898) Homepage Journal
    From the front page summary:

    more common for celebrities in the fields of entertainment, fashion or sports

    She is clearly in entertainment - how many TV shows are about her right now?

    She is also in fashion - we all heard about her massive wardrobe budget when she was campaigning with McCain.

    And her entertainment is sport - at least to her. She tells us about her heroic helicopter hunting trips, and her husbands awesome snowmobile races. Those definitely count as sport where she is.

  • What does Michael Palin say about this? - He has been around as an entertainer for a long time.

    Sarah is a common womans name - I am sure there was one in the Bible.

  • A proud moment for the Palin family. Scumbag Levi Johnston must be very happy he got the hell out of Dodge. Problem is, he didn't get out of Bristol in time.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      To be fair, sleeping with a Palin is always a mistake, so I'm guessing he wasn't bright enough to no better.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:04PM (#35111556)
    The article says Sarah is out of government. That's a big load off my mind. Now I can lump her in with other mindless celebrities like Paris Hilton and the Kardashian gaggle.
  • by greg_barton (5551) <greg_barton.yahoo@com> on Saturday February 05, 2011 @04:22PM (#35113186) Homepage Journal

    I guess we'll have to start using her Wasilla nickname now: Nutty McNutfucker.

  • by crusher-1 (302790) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @04:10AM (#35116796)

    If my family's name is "Palin" this means she owns the rights to my daughter if she's was named Sarah? What about the "prior" art argument? According to howmanyofme dot com there are 790,847 named Sarah, 1,178 people with the sir name of Palin, and 3 people named Sarah Palin. Do the other 3 people have to pay a licensing fee if the former governor get her patent (very likely give the behavior of the U.S. PTO of late)?

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