Monday, February 22, 2010


Ok, to clarify, nom equals name en français.

I was struck by a couple of short (and arguably stupid) news stories in recent weeks. The first is one we've already reported on, the Octomom applied for a trademark and somehow the story was refreshed again recently. No idea why, because I'd prefer she sink into the black hole of media oblivion ASAP.

The real story that interested me was that "Snooki", an "actress" on the [not]Music Television show1 "Jersey Shore" has decided to file a trademark application for her nickname in relation to a book she is planning on writing. This, much "Octomom", is probably also going to make it through the registration process,2 but in that case I would seriously start to doubt the intelligence of the examiner. Nickname trademarks I have always been suspicious of, mostly because of the relative ease with which a person can acquire a nickname, whether or not it's actually worthy of "source-designation." If I had my way, I think that any kind of nickname trademark needs to meet a higher standard than your regular trademarks, something akin to the "famous" marks doctrine under the FTDA or the "well-known marks" doctrine under the various international treaties.

But really, my kvetch biols down to two points. First of all, she can write? Second, stupid. Again, much of my analysis on the "Snooki" nom de stupide3 is similar to my discussion on the Octomom.

1: This is a jab at the once great television network that thinks shows about idiotic partying and Kurt Loder are more important that actual music...deceptive much? But I digress.
2: 15 U .S.C. § 1502(c) (2006). The statute prevents the registration of any trademark that "[c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent, or the name, signature, or portrait of a deceased President of the United States during the life of his widow, if any, except by the written consent of the widow." Id.
3: Instead of nom de plume.

All Trademarks and Copyrighted Material Are Owned by Their Respective Owners. All Credit for Sources is Given As Best As Possible.

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