Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, has reportedly filed to register a trademark for the term “KB24”. Before his death, Kobe Bryant had begun to build a presence in digital media and his widow’s recent intellectual property endeavors may be part of a plan to continue his work.
What is a trademark?
To give readers of this New York intellectual property blog context, a trademark is an identifier of goods and services. It can be words or a phrase, or it can be a symbol or design. When a person creates a trademark, they become the owner of it. Owning a trademark gives the individual protection from competitors using it within the owner’s geographic location.
Why register a trademark?
Ownership of a trademark may be achieved without applying to register it, as Vanessa Bryant reportedly has done. However, ownership of a trademark may not be sufficient to protect a business from misuse of their trademark if the business it is attached to is global and has a far reach.
As mentioned, ownership only protects a trademark within a specific geographic region. Vanessa Bryant may have elected to register the KB24 trademark because it would likely have global use and the potential to be challenged across the world. Having the trademark registered would also give her and the KB24 entity legal options for seeking redress against individuals or entities that attempted to fraudulently use the trademark to their advantage.
Individuals and entities can gain protection and rights when they register their trademarks. Those who wish to pursue similar paths to that apparently undertaken by Vanessa Bryant can seek additional information about trademarks and registration from intellectual property attorneys in their communities.