Registered trade marks and image rights
In the UK, there is no specific law dedicated to image rights for individuals.
As such, registered trademarks could be considered of rather limited utility in dealing with ones image. However some aspects of UK trade mark laws can potentially be utilized and applied to protect some commercial aspects of an individuals persona, which in essence, could have much relation to their image.
In certain circumstances, personalities may move beyond endorsement to use their own name or image as the trade mark of products related to what they do. This is because elements such as names, signatures and symbols capable of being graphically represented all have the potential of being registered as a trade mark.
For example, this year Kylie Jenner successfully trademarked her skin range and cosmetics brand as ‘KYLIE SKIN’. Other examples include rapper 50cent and offspring of Beyonce and Jay-z, Blue Ivy Carter.
Although trademarking your name may not always be possible and does not give you direct rights to your image, it can benefit you or your business by heightening your intellectual property value. Registering a mark will give you the exclusive rights to its use in respect of the goods or services covered by it and more.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey was the first jurisdiction to establish dedicated rights for an individual’s image and is a matter that is being discussed and called upon on an increasing basis. Neighbouring countries such as France, Hungary and Slovakia give way for these rights via their Civil Codes whereas the United States recognise them as ‘publicity rights’. It will be interesting to see if other jurisdictions will adopt Guernsey’s approach to these rights in the near future.
In the meantime, If you have any questions relating to image rights or trade marks, contact the Tradermarkroom today where we will be happy to assist you.