Brands are often the most valuable assets that celebrities own, driving demand and building relationships with fans, customers, and partners. This is known as “goodwill.” A trademark is, by definition, an embodiment of this goodwill. Given the importance of trademarks to brand protection, celebrities often pursue federal registrations to protect their reputations, prevent consumer confusion, and ultimately their bottom line.
Federal trademark registration provides important legal benefits such as a presumption of nationwide validity and the right to use the ® symbol. Federal registration can also be instrumental in enforcing rights with Google; in obtaining user names on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; and in combating other types of fraud and trademark misuse occurring online.
Through his various companies, the legendary rocker Gene Simmons owns 51 pending and registered trademarks covering everything from the trademark “Gene Simmons Groupies” to the trademark “Gene Simmons Rock World”. Simmons is also the CEO of Kiss Catalog, Ltd., which owns 58 pending and registered trademarks relating to the rock band Kiss.
Federal trademark registrations protect the band’s name in various forms and in connection with various goods and services. Here is Simmons discussing some of the merchandise covered by federal trademark registrations:
Given Simmons’ vast portfolio, it should come as no surprise that his net worth is an estimated $300 million.
Other well-known people have followed in Simmons’ foot steps. Federal trademark registrations have been obtained by professional athletes like Floyd Mayweather, pop stars like Katy Perry, radio and TV personalities like Howard Stern, and college football coaches like Urban Meyer.
Of course, you don’t have to be famous to be concerned about your personal brand. If your brand is based on your personal identity, then you should also strongly consider obtaining a federal trademark registration. When you consider that it usually costs less than $2,000 to obtain a federal trademark registration, registration provides exceptional bang for the buck.