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The entertainment world suffered a double blow this week with the passing of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.
The unexpected loss of Robin Williams reverberated so deeply throughout the nation that it prompted President Obama to release the following statement:
Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien â but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most â from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.
Lauren Bacall's death was less shocking but still somewhat of a surprise. She was a Hollywood legend whose career lasted nearly 70 years. Bacall, who was married to Humphrey Bogart until his death in 1957, appeared in more than 70 films and TV shows, according to the Internet Movie Database. She was nominated in 1997 for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." She also won two Tony Awards, for her starring roles in Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981.
Even though Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall never shared the screen or stage, they did have something in common: both were savvy about protecting their personal brands. To that end, both of them obtained federal trademark registrations. Similar strategies have been adopted by country music artists and college football coaches.
Robin Williams owned three federal trademark registrations:
1. U.S. Reg. No. 3,738,977 for ROBIN WILLIAMS for entertainment services in the nature of televised and movie appearances by a professional entertainer; providing a website featuring entertainment for adults, namely, comedic audio and video presentations; providing webcasts in the field of comedy and dramatic performances.
Lauren Bacall also has several pending trademark applications:
U.S. Serial No. 85966179 for LAUREN BACALL for fragrance products.
U.S. Serial No. 85966187 for LAUREN BACALL for watches, jewelry, and related products.
U.S. Serial No. 85966191 for LAUREN BACALL for pens, pencils, and related products.
U.S. Serial No. 85966198 for LAUREN BACALL for clothing.
U.S. Serial No. 85966199 for LAUREN BACALL for entertainment services, namely, live dramatic performances by an actor; providing entertainment information via a website.
Federal trademark registrations will help the estates of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall to effectively protect their legacies. Notably, these registrations can last forever as long as their estates continue to use the marks and file the necessary maintenance documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
You don't have to be a famous comedian or actor to be concerned about your personal brand. If your brand is based on your personal identity, then you should also strongly consider obtaining a federal trademark registration to protect your reputation and prevent consumer confusion.
I leave you with this moving tribute to Robin Williams:
The lawyers at Trademarkology provide trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.