I was surprised to see a whole page of a recent Evening Standard devoted to UK and European trademarks.
If you have read this blog before you will know that I consider trademarks to be the most significant form of long term intellectual property protection for most businesses.
In the case of a celebrity such as current top model Cara Delevingne the motivation is often as much about protecting you name from commercial abuse, as profiting from it.
When choosing to register a trademark with either the IPO (Intellectual Property Office) in the UK or the OHIM (Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market) in Europe you have to choose which of the 45 Nice classes are relevant.
The OHIM database shows Delevingne has applied for four classes at a cost of 1,050 Euros. Not surprisingly many celebrities have registered their names over the years. Only last year the singer Beyoncé tried to trademark her daughter’s name Blue Ivy, but discovered a wedding planning business had pre-empted her.
According to the Standard, Delevingne’s only aspiration so far is to produce her own brand of onesies. But perhaps these small beginnings could spawn a worldwide fashion brand.
The author of the article Kara Dolman (Kara with a K), was inspired by Delevingne to register her own trademark Kara D. Sensibly she first checked the IPO database (something we often help with in the Business & IP Centre), and chose class 25 covering fashion goods at a cost of £170.
Once the application gets through the two month period allowing for objections, Dolman will be free to pursue her dream of Kara D branded socks. However, I feel obliged to point out that if she doesn’t do so, her trademark will lapse after five years. People often forget that trademarks are designed to protect actual commercial activities, rather than just as a block to others.