British physicist Stephen Hawking shall soon have his name trademarked, joining the likes of celebrities J.K. Rowling and David Beckham. Hawking, 73, has applied to the Intellectual Property Office to get his name formally registered, while another English physicist Brian Cox has already done so. For Hawking, subject of the Oscar winning film Theory Of Everything, the main aim of having his name trademarked is to prevent others from exploiting his name with inappropriate products. A spokesperson for Cambridge University, where Hawking is Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, has clarified that it’s a personal matter for Hawking and not a university issue, and that he has taken measures to protect his name and the success it enjoys.
Hawking has even applied to get his name trademarked for charitable purposes, allowing him options of setting up a foundation where he can promote physics or can further research into motor neurone disease which left him paralyzed. His trademark covers computer games, powered wheelchairs, greetings cards and health care. Chris McLeod, president of the Institute of Trademark Attorneys, stated that this act shall be worth millions of pounds. “It all depends on how successfully his advisers license and market products,” he says. If he dies, the trademark would be transferred to his offspring or foundation – and this could be a never-ending monopoly, he added.
This trademark could imply that Hawking rises to be much more than a person, much like he’s done in his real life.