Sarah, Bristol Palin seeking to trademark names

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and “Dancing with the Stars” finalist Bristol Palin are attempting to trademark “Sarah Palin®” and “Bristol Palin®,” reports Politics Daily.

Palin family attorney Thomas Van Flein registered for a “Sarah Palin” trademark three days after the 2010 midterm elections. A “Bristol Palin” application was filed five days prior to the “Dancing With the Stars” Sept. 20 season premiere.

It’s common for celebrities to trademark their names to protect their brand or image from those who may try to make money off their name, but trademark attorneys say this is a rare move for political figures.

“Generally one can trademark one’s name,” said Los Angeles-based intellectual property attorney Jeffrey S. Kravitz. “But, it is not easy.”

The application for “Sarah Palin” has two classes of commercial service for which her name would be trademarked. The first is for “information about political elections” and “providing a website featuring information about political issues” and the second is for “educational and entertainment services … providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values.”

The application for “Bristol Palin” is for “educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices.”

The patent office wants more information before making a decision on the Sarah Palin trademark application. Politics Daily reports Sarah Palin’s written consent is missing on the application form. It’s unknown if the issue has been resolved.

When someone seeks a trademark, the patent office requests an example of how the applicant’s name has been used for a commercial purpose. In her application form, Palin included a copy of a Fox News Channel story with the headline “Palin to Join Fox News as Contributor,” and a screen shot from the Washington Speakers Bureau site containing her biography and another screen shot of her Facebook page.

Examining attorney Karen K. Bush said Palin’s examples were insufficient and did not show any commercial use connected to political elections. Palin was told send another example.

Like Sarah Palin’s application, the “Bristol Palin” application did not have a signature. It also didn’t show her proposed trademark used in a commercial context. Bristol Palin must file examples that demonstrate how her name is used in the actual sale or advertising of her “motivational speaking services in the field of life choices,” according to Politics Daily.

The applications are still pending.