Pushy parenting or a necessary business move?

It has been revealed that former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham (VB) has applied to register her daughter’s name “Harper Beckham” as a trade mark in both the UK and Europe.

A quick glance on the entry of the proposed trade mark on the UK trade mark register shows us that she has attempted to register “Harper Beckham” under 5 different classes. Her application has been published in the Trade Marks Journal, meaning that the IPO (Intellectual Property Office) has approved her application, but that other trade mark owners can still oppose the registration of the trade mark. This could delay, or even prevent, the “Harper Beckham” trade mark becoming registered.

VB’s decision to trade mark Harper’s name has been widely criticised, with many accusing her of exploiting her child by using her as a ‘product’ and thrusting her into the limelight at a young age. For instance, both VB and her husband David only registered their names after they had become well established in their respective industries. David registered his name in 2000, 5 years after his debut with Manchester United, whilst VB registered hers in 2002, shortly after she said ‘Goodbye’ to the Spice Girls.

On the flip side, the ‘Beckham’ brand is now worth millions. As such, VB’s decision to register “Harper Beckham” as a trade mark has also been deemed as a strategic and savvy move to prevent other individuals from riding on the coattails of the Beckham brand and benefiting from it though association.  VB’s choice to register “Harper Beckham” as a trade mark would act as a deterrent to those trying to jump on the Beckham bandwagon.

If you would like information or advice on protecting your business or branding, please contact our Commercial team.

William Brownlee

Paralegal