TMEP 813.01(a): Name or Likeness Is That of a Living Individual

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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813.01(a)    Name or Likeness Is That of a Living Individual

If a mark comprises the name or likeness of a living individual and consent to register is of record, a statement to that effect must be printed in the Official Gazette and on the registration certificate. The following are examples of acceptable statements:

The name, portrait, and/or signature shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent to register is made of record;

The name shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent is of record;

The name “JOHN SMITH” identifies a living individual whose consent is of record;

The likeness (or "portrait') in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent is of record;

The portrait or likeness shown in the mark identifies John Smith, whose consent to register is made of record;

The signature shown in the mark identifies a living individual whose consent is of record;

The signature shown in the mark identifies “JOHN SMITH”, a living individual whose consent is of record; or

The name, portrait, and/or signature shown in the mark identifies John Smith, whose consent to register is made of record.

Only matter that actually appears in the mark should appear in capital letters within quotation marks.

Where the mark comprises a portrait, first name, pseudonym, nickname, surname of an individual who is well known in the field relating to the goods or services (see TMEP §1206.03), surname preceded by initials (e.g., “J.C. Jones”), or title of a living individual, the record must clearly identify the actual name of the individual and indicate that the name shown in the mark identifies that individual. A legible signature on the consent statement may in itself be sufficient to identify the individual’s name. If the actual name is unclear, the examining attorney must issue an inquiry. The name may be entered by examiner’s amendment, if appropriate.

Where the mark comprises the name or likeness of a living individual whose consent is of record, the consent statement must always be printed, even if the name that appears in the mark is that of the applicant. The statement must also be printed if consent is presumed from signature of the application (TMEP §1206.04(b)), or if consent is of record in a valid registration owned by the applicant (TMEP §1206.04(c)).

Where consent is presumed from signature (TMEP §1206.04(b)), the examining attorney must ensure that the required statement is entered in the Office’s database. The examining attorney must also enter a Note to the File in the record indicating that the statement must be printed. No prior approval by the applicant or the applicant’s qualified practitioner is required.

The examining attorney must ensure that the Trademark database is updated, if necessary. See TMEP §813.01(c).