Sarah Palin and her daughter, Bristol, are a step closer to legally protecting their names.
Trademark applications for the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and her 20-year-old daughter, a finalist last season on TV’s Dancing With the Stars, are entering the final stages in the federal government’s bureaucratic maze.
“Our understanding is everything is proceeding along towards approval,” John Tiemessen, an attorney for the Palins, told USA TODAY.
Documents filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show the Palins’ applications have passed an initial review and are about to published, which would then give people who would be harmed by the trademark time to object and request a formal hearing.
Jay Dougherty, a law professor at Loyola Law School-Los Angeles, explains why celebrities trademark their names. “A person’s name is just descriptive of who they are,” he said, “but when a name is used to identify the source of services or goods, it can be used as a trademark.”
Sarah Palin, who is considering a 2012 presidential bid, has earned millions from her best-selling books. The ex-Alaska governor also receives fees for speaking engagements and is a paid contributor to Fox News.
Her trademark application states she is trying to protect her name to provide educational and entertainment services, namely “motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values.”
Bristol Palin’s application says she is trying to provide “motivational speaking services in the field of life choices.”
The news that the Palins applied for trademarks was first reported in February by AOL’s Politics Daily.