Source: Barker Brettell LLP via Mondaq
“Trading under your name is an appealing idea, especially in the fashion world, where designers frequently use their own names as brands. A personal name is the ultimate symbol of identity and using that alongside a business can inject a much-needed sense of personality.
So if your name is valuable, or has the potential to be valuable, it is worth thinking about protecting it as a trade mark.
However, use of your name as a trade mark can cause problems later down the line. It is important to remember that although the goodwill which you have built up is attached to your name, it is entwined with that name alone rather than with you as an individual.
Therefore, if your name has been registered as a trade mark belonging to the business and you part ways with that business, you may be blocked from using your name in trade – which can feel like being stripped of your identity.
Your name is a commercial asset that can be traded like any other commodity. So you must take care: just because it is your name does not mean that you will retain the commercial rights if you trade it away.
Consider how your business is likely to develop. It may be best to come up with a mark that does not consist of or contain your own name.
This will allow you to retain your own “personal brand” if you part ways with the business.”