Trademark your baby name

You worked hard to name your baby. You spent as much time studying baby names and etymology as you did in Lamaze class.  And just when you think you’ve found the perfect name that evokes your love of the moon and your maternal grandmother Ranesta, Sepracor Incorporated releases their new sleeping pill and suddenly everyone thinks of insomnia when you introduce them to your daughter, Lunesta.

Consider these names: Caduet, Mirena, Diovan; if not being doled out by your local chemist these names would sound perfectly at home right next to the Coopers, Drapers, and Gias on the attendance list of your child’s country day school.

So how can you protect the time and emotion you’ve invested in making sure your child’s name is as distinctive as your bespoke pencil skirt suit? The same way you’d protect any of your intellectual property: trademark it!

Not only will a registered trademark on your child’s first name prevent others from using the name for their products or children (without getting your approval or paying you a royalty), you will have demonstrable proof that the name in question was originated by you specifically for your progeny. Your child won’t have to grow up saying, “but I was named Reglan before the drug came out,” he will simply have to show the paperwork from the Patent and Trademark Office. That’s like having a legal document explaining that you got your lower back tattoo before they became passé.

Now, in order to get around the pesky legal concept that trademarks are intended to distinguish goods or services, you’re going to have to start thinking of your child as a brand. Set your child up with a blog, a youtube channel, and maybe even an etsy store; have your child post a vlog or create a t-shirt design at least once a year and you’ll have no legal problems using the USPTO as your own personal name police.

You know that your child’s sophisticated and unique first name not only displays your taste and sophistication, it ensures your child a singular existence in this world. You want your children to thank you for bestowing upon them exemplary monikers, don’t let the corporate world rob them of their birthright. Your child will thank you, as my son Aldoval® does every day.

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