TMEP 813.01(b): Name or Likeness Is Not That of a Living Individual

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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813.01(b)    Name or Likeness Is Not That of a Living Individual

If a name or likeness that could reasonably be perceived as that of a living individual is not that of a specific living individual, a statement to that effect must be printed in the Official Gazette and on the registration certificate. The statement should read as follows:

The name “__________" does not identify a living individual;

The likeness (or “portrait”) in the mark does not identify a living individual; or

The name(s), portrait(s), and/or signature(s) shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.

The applicant should explain any additional relevant circumstances. For example, if the matter identifies a certain character in literature or a deceased historical person, then a statement of these facts in the record may be helpful, but this information will not be printed in the Official Gazette or on the registration certificate.

No statement should be printed unless the name or portrait might reasonably be perceived as that of a specific living individual. This is true even if the applicant submits an unsolicited statement that a particular name or portrait does not identify a living individual.

Generally, if the name or likeness is such that an inquiry would have been required as to whether it identifies a living individual (see TMEP §1206.03), and the applicant states that the mark does not identify a living individual, then the statement that the name or likeness does not identify a living individual should be printed.

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

If the applicant owns a valid registration for a mark comprised in whole or in part of the same name, portrait, or signature for any goods or services, and the record for the registration contains a statement that the name or likeness is not that of a living individual, the applicant should claim ownership of the registration and advise the examining attorney that the statement is of record therein. The examining attorney may then enter the same statement in the record for the application, even if the applicant does not resubmit or reference the statement. It is not necessary to issue an inquiry in this situation.