Because LM Entertainment‘s ongoing contract dispute with Kang Daniel wasn’t enough, they decided to add some more controversy to their plate, as the company confirmed a report that they are applying for a trademark of Yoon Ji Sung‘s name.
LM Entertainment has applied for the trademark of Yoon Ji Sung’s name. On March 18, YTN Star reported that the agency had registered to trademark Yoon Ji Sung’s name, stylized in English as “YOON JISUNG,” on February 12.
YTN Star explained that although an agency has the right to apply for the trademark of its artist’s name, it rarely does so. This is because it can be seen as restricting the artist’s ability to promote freely.
It also added that in the case that Yoon Ji Sung transfers agencies in the future, there would be complications when he used his name, as LM Entertainment may own the rights to the trademark “YOON JISUNG.” Later in the day, LM Entertainment confirmed the news and revealed, “We are in the stages of applying for the trademark of Yoon Ji Sung’s name.” The agency reportedly applied for the trademark of the singer’s name in February while producing Yoon Ji Sung’s album.
What stage of capitalism is a company trademarking your own damn name so that if you leave the company you have to fight for your own name? Good god this is bullshit.
Even in America, trademarking personal names is hard.
The USPTO warns applicants that it is unlikely to register surnames or an individual’s name or likeliness for trademark protection unless certain conditions are met. The individual must formally file a statement of consent for the trademark, unless in the case of a coined name. She must prove that the name has a “secondary meaning” by being part of a unique brand that is used in marketing and commerce and is widely recognized. In some cases, a name can be trademarked when it is one of a kind, but it requires substantial evidence to prove this.
It better come out later that he is getting compensation for this somehow, because if not it comes off awful manipulative.