question.jpgIn Trademarks

Can a surname be protected as a trademark?

A trademark which is made of one’s last name (their surname) cannot generally be protected by trademark law unless it has acquired secondary meaning. However, secondary meaning may not be necessary for a surname to be protectable as a trademark where that surname has some other descriptive meaning, such as KING or GOLD. In addition, if the surname is used in connection with an arbitrary or fanciful term/design, the mark as a whole may be protected without secondary meaning (although the protection will be weak as to the surname portion of the mark).