Personal Name (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Personal name of an individual, which may be a first name, a family name, or a complete name cannot be registered as a trademark. It can be provided registered as a trademark if the name demonstrates a secondary meaning. Personal names cannot be the subject of trademark protection without any secondary meaning. For the purposes of trademark registration, secondary meaning may be assumed after five years of continued and exclusive use of a mark.

Certain personal names are used as trademarks, such as Chanel, Levis, Versace, and Gucci. These personal names are protected by trademark law because they have accomplished the objective of forming an association in the mind of the consumer which links the individual products with its manufacturer or distributor.