Names as trademarks

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) has received a number of applications to register Nicolas Paul Gustaf as a trademark. This is the name of the new Swedish prince. The equivalent situation has arisen every time a new royal name has been announced in Sweden, PRV writes in its blog.

What are the rules for the registration of names as trademarks in Norway?
Can absolutely anyone register King Harald or Crown Princess Ingrid?

Names cannot be registered without consent

The Trademarks Act states that a trademark cannot be registered without the consent of the rights holder concerned if it contains anything that can be perceived to be another person's name, artist's name or portrait, unless a long-deceased person is evidently intended.

The expression "name" includes, in addition to names which are protected under the Names Act, names that clearly identify a particular person.

This provision is intended to protect specific persons and bearers of protected family names, so that they avoid seeing their name used commercially or associated with something they do not wish to be associated with. The same applies to portraits of specific persons, which you cannot register as trademarks without consent.

The limit for protected surnames is 200 bearers, and if you do not have the name yourself you must obtain consent from all the bearers to be able to use the name as a trademark.

What names are registered as trademarks in Norway?

Among trademarks registered with us, we find names such as Bjørn Dæhlie, Kari Traa, Lars Monsen, Drillo and Therese Johaug, and foreign names such as Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. They have registered the marks themselves or through firms that have obtained consent for registration.

Among royal names we have King Haakon and Sonja, as registered trademarks for chocolate products, and in these cases the chocolate manufacturer has obtained approval from the Royal Palace.

Henrik Ibsen is also approved as a trademark because it refers to a historical person, and the person concerned "died a long time ago", as the Trademarks Act requires.

You therefore cannot simply register the name of some well-known person as a trademark, you must have approval first. On the other hand, you can register your own name.

If the name is distinctive and you have consent, it can be registered for all goods and services.

You can carry out your own searches for trademarks in our search service.

Read more about trademark registration

Relevant legislation

Trademarks Act Section 16 a)
Names Act § 3 (in Norwegian on Lovdata website)


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