Identifying one’s business with one’s personal name has long been a practice in the United States. As Personal Name Marks have become increasingly commodified, however, bargaining and deal-making have led to transfers of rights that are closely tied to the individual as a private person. This Article posits that, when selling the rights of one’s Personal Name Mark, freedom of contract doctrine should not allow the complete alienation of all aspects of one’s name, but rather there should be limitations on how far parties may bargain. In light of constitutional prohibitions, public policy concerns, administrative convenience, and other considerations, the most reasonable balance requires placing some limits on the extent to which one may bargain away the personal freedoms associated with one’s name.
When Selling Your Personal Name Mark Extends to Selling Your Soul
Volume 83, No. 1, Fall 2010