The name game can mean big business says leading commercial lawyer

While the world waited for the announcement of baby Cambridge’s name, and parents across the world held off from naming their own new babies to find out what Kate and William would decide, not many people will have considered the importance of names and how they can mean big business for some people.

Amy Hylton, a lawyer in Higgs & Sons’ commercial team, says that today, names are leading to a whole new avenue of money making schemes for celebrities globally and even regional businesses should not underestimate the value of their brand names.

“It certainly seems to be a celebrity trend nowadays to try to protect names in order to capitalise on celebrity status,” says Amy.

“Beyoncé and Jay Z launched a worldwide trademark application shortly after the birth of their daughter to protect her name ‘Blue Ivy’ in relation to baby-related products.

“In addition, Alan Titchmarsh and Julian Assange have both also successfully registered trademarks for their names in relation to their own promotional activities.”

However, it’s just not celebrities that need to be aware of how valuable their name is, says Amy. In terms of non-celebrity entrepreneurs and businesses, the value of protecting a trade name can be just as, if not more valuable, she explains.

“Those in the public eye tend to have deep pockets in which to vigorously pursue third parties infringing their brands. The rest of us may not have pockets quite so deep, which is why we need to look at protecting our intellectual property from the very outset.

“Protection by way of a trade mark often makes it easier for businesses to prevent infringers from ‘cashing in’ on their brand and can also act as an effective deterrent for would-be infringers.

Protecting the intellectual property you have, be it a brand name or logo, is not just for the rich and famous, says Amy.

“Most businesses will have some form of branding which if appropriately protected and exploited could add significant value and potentially save both time and money down the line should infringement occur.”

Higgs & Sons works from two offices in the Black Country – Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill and Kingswinford. The firm employs more than 200 people, which includes over 100 specialist lawyers.

To find out more contact Amy Hylton at Higgs and Sons on 0845 111 5050 or