If former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol have their way, their names will soon be followed by an "®" in some promotional materials.
That's because the Palins have applied to have their names trademarked -- a request that was put on hold because the mother and daughter reportedly failed to sign their applications, and evidently didn't prove that their names are used for commercial purposes.
While it is not uncommon for celebrities to trademark their names in order to prevent others from making a profit by linking that name to unlicensed products, it's rare for a political figure to do so. The move suggests Palin sees her future as having to do at least as much with entertainment as with politics.
According to Politics Daily, Palin is seeking to have her name trademarked under two classifications: One for "information about political elections" and "providing a website featuring information about political issues," and another for "educational and entertainment services ... providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values."
Meanwhile, daughter Bristol Palin, who debuted last fall on Dancing With The Stars, applied to trademark her name "educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices."
Given Bristol's history of promoting celibacy (despite having had a daughter as a teenager), this may suggest the younger Palin may be planning a career focusing on celibacy promotion and anti-abortion campaigning.
But a Patent Office lawyer wrote to the Palins, telling them the evidence they provided to back up their claims that their names are commercial trademarks was insufficient.
Sarah Palin's application included a screenshot of the Fox News website announcing she would be joining the news network as a contributor and a series of screenshots from her Facebook page -- evidently not enough to convince the Patent Office that her name is a commercially valuable trademark.
Jeffrey Kravitz, a Los Angeles intellectual property lawyer, told Politics Daily that trademarking a name is not impossible, "but it is not easy."