Thanks for the great article Danny. I have personal experience in what you are discussing.
My ex-spouse and I decided to pursue various licensing and entertainment deals with various entities in the adult entertainment and mainstream industries. We seized on the ruling by the California court system that whatever the legal name of a candidate is shall be placed on the ballot.
My spouse was a professional dominatrix and I personally trademarked, on her behalf, both her image and her trade name; Mistress Madison. Knowing what I know now I should have hired you… it took awhile and questions were asked. We trademarked her under the classification of fashion and apparel. When the 1994 congressional elections came around we paid the fees and gathered the signatures needed to place her name on the ballot as a congressional candidate in the Reform Party. Thankfully she lost. However, the ensuing media coverage made her the most famous dominatrix in America, hands down!
During the course of my seven years with her we had 5 dominatrixes calling themselves Mistress Madison and we sent cease and desist letters to them. Imagine their surprise! When we divorced in 1998 she received as part of the divorce her name and her likeness and I am not allowed to use them.
A couple of weeks ago I looked up the Mistress Madison trademark and see that she has allowed it to lapse. Additionally, a search on Google reveals several Mistress Madisons are now operating in the United States and one in the United Kingdom. I am so tempted to grab it back! Creating her was so much fun. Mistress Madison has since reverted to using her maiden name and is now in another industry.
Anyway, your article is spot on and I have thought about trademarking my own name for the day I decide to publish my book and tell all… my Hollywood secrets. I guess we should talk.