Names & Faces

Bruno Mars exits the Clark County Regional Justice Center after waiving his preliminary hearing on felony drug possession charges in Las Vegas.
Bruno Mars exits the Clark County Regional Justice Center after waiving his preliminary hearing on felony drug possession charges in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's trademark Palin

A mama grizzly's gotta watch out for her brand. Last fall Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol filed applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark their names, Politics Daily reports.

Should the paperwork go through, Sarah Palin will be registered in two classes of commercial service - both as a source of "information about political elections" and a sort of all-encompassing motivational speaker. Bristol Palin's application is for "educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices."

It's not that weird, really. Lots of celebrities do it. "Overall, this is no different than what the 'Jersey Shore' crew did," says Chris Ott, a D.C.-based trademark lawyer at the firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. Sarah Palin is probably here to stay, he says, and needs to establish rights to her name and be able to challenge others who use similar marks. "As for Bristol - this may be her 15 minutes. She's going out like Snooki and the Situation - doing 'Dancing With the Stars,' writing a book. She needs to protect her name while it's still fresh in people's minds." There are some snags, though. First, neither application was signed by the applicant. More troubling, the patent office has deemed Sarah Palin's examples of trademark use - mostly images of Palin-related media, such as her Facebook page and a Fox News broadcast - insufficient. But according to Ott, these are easy hurdles to leap over. And once the Palins do, it'll be that much harder to trademark your bootleg Palin-phernalia.

Bruno Mars plea agreement

Pop singer Bruno Mars agreed to a plea deal with a Las Vegas judge over a felony cocaine charge, the Associated Press reports. Mars will not contest police accounts, which maintain that the Grammy-nominated 25-year-old - whose real name is Peter Hernandez - was holding 2.6 grams of cocaine when he was arrested last September after a performance at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In exchange, Mars will get a relatively light sentence: one year on probation, a $2,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and some drug counseling.

Spotted . . .

Bon Jovi, dining at Westend Bistro on Thursday night. The troubadour wore a black coat, a red scarf and a sweater. What's he doing here? Official White House business, apparently.

Back in December, President Obama nominated the loyal Democrat rocker to his White House Council for Community Solutions, which convened its first meeting Friday. The White House even offered streaming video of the event. How did it look? Not very rock-and-roll. The singer sat silently while his boardmates speechified about civic engagement and mobilization. There were a lot of flip charts. The entertainer looked positively bored - leaning on his hands, twiddling his pen, possibly wishing he were rocking on some desert cliff-side, playing the Super Bowl halftime show, or some other, more Joviesque pursuit.

- From staff and wire reports

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