Every actor has a shelf life; several stars that became superstars and reined the hearts of millions fade away into oblivion as time passes.
Stardom is temporary, and so is their career as an actor. The immense success they get and the wave of popularity they generate are used by brands and companies to pitch their products to the public.
These companies use their names to boost their sales and make a considerable chunk of profit using their names. Once these actors turn old and become irrelevant, that’s when the problems began, and their sources of income become rare.
To protect the sources of income which they made during their prime and to avoid exploitation of their name; many celebrities trademark their names and the catchphrases they made famous in public.
This way they keep their intellectual property safe, prevent other people from using their names without their permission and enjoy several benefits which come along with it. Taylor Swift has filed around 60 trademark applications in the past ten years.
On the other hand, Meryl Streep filed an application to trademark her name for the entertainment services she gave for her movie appearances, speaking engagements and autographs.
Bollywood actress Kajol, in the year 2010, had run into trouble with the political party of Maharashtra Shiv Sena as a fake twitter id with her name tweeted some derogatory comments about the political party. The problem became severe as news channel ran reports on it on the basis of tweets made. Ajay Devgn Films, the entertainment company owned by her husband and Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan then approached Twitter to delete the comments and suspend the id.
Over the years, to prevent such misuse, Kajol has trademarked her name in various business categories that vary from telecommunications to broadcasting.
Celebrities are getting aware of the pros of trademarking their names and the benefits that come with it. Yoga Guru and the face of Patanjali products, Baba Ramdev, has trademarked his names to prevent his name or picture to be misused by other ayurvedic brands and religious institutions.
Trademarking names not only protects the brand identity of the celebrities but, also opens new sources of revenue for them.
Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Bollywood who is a brand in himself allowed his name to be used by a perfume brand, hence increasing the overall value of the brand and his net worth.
In a country like India, where celebrity worship is so common putting a value to the names of celebrities is impossible as it would be just a fraction of the total worth their name holds.
Once Sanjeev Kapoor spotted a book with the name Khazana of Chinese recipes with his picture on the cover, which matched his debut book Khazana of Indian Recipes.
This reminded him how unprotected his identity was even after publishing a book. Later, his company filed more than 100 trademark applications to save his intellectual property.
Using the name of a celebrity increases the visibility of a product or service. They gain proper traction and eyeballs which boosts their sales, and it creates an impression that the showcased star uses the advertised product or service.
At times, several people in business illegally use the name of a renowned celebrity without their permission to pitch for their products or services. Such situations can lead to trouble if the name in use is not trademarked.