“Did you know Santa was invented by Coca-Cola? He’s actually a trademark of Coca-Cola, that’s why he’s always dressed in red and white, it’s the corporate colour,” I was told by a teenager recently. Naturally, my first reaction was to shrug it off as the wild imaginings of a precocious anti-establishment pubescent boy whose parents had told him when he was 3 that Santa did not exist. However, when I decided to look it up on the internet, I found that it is actually a very popular urban legend still believed by many to be true. Myth or fact, the episode did raise a good question – can you trademark a person?
Well the answer is yes and no. All of us look different every day, we change our clothes, our hair, our appearance, we grow fatter, skinnier, darker, fairer, older, saggier; our looks are not constant. While it is unthinkable that people can be a subject of trademark registrations, there are many things about a person that can be trademarked.