The story: Political celebrity Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol have certainly become their own personal brands, says Suzi Parker at Politics Daily. And now, "these savvy women are taking all the prudent steps a brand holder does to protect an asset" by seeking to license their names as registered trademarks. That would presumably forestall the Tina Feys of the world from making money by impersonating the former Alaska governor. Palin's request, however, has been rejected — for now. The patent office wants more information about how Palin's name has been used for commercial purposes. Another factor working against the Palins: They both failed to sign their names on the application. They have six months to resubmit the paperwork.
The reaction: Trademarking a name may be more common for athletes and entertainers, but politicians can do it too, says lawyer Marshall J. Nelson, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times. And with a few fixes, says Jen Doll at The Village Voice, Palin's application will likely be approved, "meaning the Palins can get back to the good business of just being Americans™." The real lesson here, says Zoe Fox at Time, is that "anyone hoping to profit using Sarah Palin's brand should act quickly, before the 2008 vice presidential nominee finds the 'sign here' line."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- Sex can't explain the culture war
- Boyhood's refreshingly unsentimental take on motherhood
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- How a drafting error could doom Obama's carbon regulations
Subscribe to the Week