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Celebrity Trademark Trend Takes ‘Hairy’ New Turn

Tuesday July 3, 2012 at 10:18pm
Nigella Lawson - Celebrity Trademark
Celebrities seeking to trademark their names, appearances, signatures, and everything else is nothing new, but has been becoming a popular trend in recent years. This move can mean even more millions for celebrities – just think of all of the Wolfgang Puck or Nigella Lawson “signature” cookware that have been snapped up in stores as quality gifts. Alternatively, the Paris Hilton’s attempt to trademark her slogan “That’s Hot” faded as quickly as it came. Recently Bono, frontman for Irish band U2, registered both his stage name and his distinctive “squiggle” signature as trademarks, leaving him with options to launch anything from a shoe collection to an underwear line.

Raising an eyebrow

Despite all of the celebrities who have made the smart decision to trademark their distinctive names or qualities before him, one US athlete has taken the trend of celebrity trademarks to a funny, self-depreciating new level. Instead of using trademarks to protect the prestige of his name and career, NBA basketball player Anthony Davis has decided to trademark funny phrases about his “unibrow,” the hairy part of his forehead that connects both eyebrows. Davis’s move to file trademark applications for the phrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” shows that he has a shrewd business mind as well as a good sense of humour. His rise to stardom in the American basketball world was intertwined with attention to his connected eyebrows, and he has found a way to use it to his advantage. The slogans that he has sought to trademark were used on thousands of shirts, hats, and other merchandise last season, and continue to sell out in online shops. This means that there is a market for these funny slogans, and since it’s Davis’ eyebrow that the slogans concern, he has sought to protect his rights to use and profit from them. The 19-year-old basketball player will have sole legal rights to use these phrases when his trademark applications are approved, which means that vendors of the merchandise that is currently available will be restricted.

Athletes profit

Davis filed to trademark his signature unibrow as soon as he could, as he was forbidden to make money off of either his name or status when he played basketball for his university. “Everyone’s talking about it,” Davis told the press of his eyebrow, and said that he would not cut it despite the many people who have told him to pluck or shave. That decision will most likely prove smart for his image, branding, and his wallet.

“I don’t want anyone to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it,” he told American broadcasters CNBC. He went on to say that he and his family“ decided to trademark it because it’s very unique,” which shows that he understands the very heart of what trademarks are, and why they are important.
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