Friday, January 26, 2018

Meryl Streep Files First-Ever Application to Register MERYL STREEP as a Trademark

On January 22nd, Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep filed what appears to be her first ever federal trademark application and the first ever trademark application for MERYL STREEP (in the United States, at least).
The trademark application covers "Entertainment services, namely, live, televised, and movie appearances by a professional actress and entertainer; Personal appearances; Speaking engagements; Autograph signings; Providing a website featuring content in the field of motion pictures" in Class 41 and lists a first use date of 1975 (which corresponds with the earliest piece listed in her filmography on - Everybody Rides the Carousel (1975)). The application was filed on Ms. Streeps behalf by Keats Gatien, LLP in Beverly Hills.

Somewhat surprising, this appears to be the first ever trademark application filed for MERYL STREEP in the United States and the only trademark application or registration owned by Mary Louise Streep. As I've blogged about before, celebrities, athletes, and other public figures often seek to register their names as trademarks with the USPTO (like Chrissy Teigen, Conor McGregor, and Jay Leno).

Notably missing from the MERYL STREEP trademark application is Mary Louise Streep's written consent authorizing the registration of her name as a trademark. Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act prohibits the registration of a living individual's name, signature, or portrait without that individual's written consent. This applies to the registration of a living individual's nickname as well. TMEP 1206.01. Before this application can register, that written consent will need to be provided to the USPTO.

Assuming the written consent hiccup is quickly resolved, and the rest of the application passes the USPTO's examination process, Meryl Streep may have a federal trademark registration for her name by the end of 2018.


  1. Alex,
    It looks like she's registering in her own name, as the mark holder. Why, then wouldn't her application itself stand as the required "consent"

    This is probably part of an estate-planning strategy, more than anything, by the way, don't you think?

    1. If the application was for her exact name, not her nickname, the application could be considered her consent. But I think the fact the name listed in the "Owner" block does not exactly match the mark might require written consent, or at least trigger an inquiry by the Examining Attorney. See TMEP 1206.04(b).

      Could be an estate planning move, but hard to tell. Typically celebrities rely on the right of publicity to protect their likeness, but that varies by state. A federal trademark registration is an additional tool in the enforcement box, and, unlike the right of publicity, a trademark registration can be renewed forever (if the mark is continuously used with the listed goods/services).