Shakespeare’s ‘what’s in a name’ was apt for utopian times when he was of the view that a rose would smell like a rose even if it were called by another name. Today, in the world of competition, when celebrities are trying to out-do each other in the race for fame and endorsements, trademark rights are significantly important. Lately, Shahrukh Khan has been in the news for reasons other than the release of his latest film Happy New Year. A number of newspapers recently reported that the actor’s initial SRK is now a trademark. An internet search with the keywords ‘shahrukh khan’ and ‘trademark’ will throw up several articles from 2012 when he applied for a trademark. I found that all these articles had something in common – misconceptions regarding trademark rights. So the actor has a registration for the initials SRK, what next? Can he stop anyone from using his initials?! In this article, I have discussed a few aspects relating to celebrities trademarking their names/initials, advantages of doing so and what it means for the public in general.
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