For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Jolie drops perfume opposition; baby refuses to comment

The IPKat was happy to learn from the Washington Post that Angelina Jolie has dropped her opposition to an application by Symine Salimpour to register SHILOH as the name of a perfume. Shiloh, as all good celebrity-followers should know, is the name of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s progeny. Ms Salimpour argues that although the application was filed after the baby was named, the fact that it coincided with the baby’s name was coincidence. According to Salimpour 'In Hebrew, Shiloh means 'his gift…And I will use the perfume to give something back to the children of Israel and the Middle East." The IPKat notes that it is also the name of a place in Israel with biblical origins.

The IPKat is rather puzzled here. On what grounds did Ms Jolie think she could stop others from using the name? Names per se don’t attract intellectual property rights, particularly ones which had strongly established pre-existing meanings. The best argument that the IPKat can think of is that perhaps the name would cause people to think the baby was endorsing the perfume. However, the IPKat isn’t sure of the value of a baby’s endorsement for this kind of product. Babies, while lovely, aren’t always fragrant. Moreover, a baby can’t actually sign a licensing contract. Its parents might be able to, but surely no parent would sell their baby in this way would they…?

2 comments:

baby names list said...

The issue of copyrighting baby names is one that just may become more prominent with more parents looking for the most unique name for their baby. Although it is highly doubtful that any law will be enacted allowing parents to copyright their baby names, it just may be that many parents will try.

Nikki said...

I think Jolie afraid of people associate her and Brad to the perfume since the baby is their child. Is it unfair competition?

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