Stephen Hawking Applies to Trademark His Name

Could be a first step in setting up foundation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2015 8:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Stephen Hawking™? If the theoretical physicist has his way, then yes, because he's applied to trademark his name, CNBC reports, citing the Sunday Times. Hawking is so iconic, it's not uncommon to see his image on everything from T-shirts to mouse pads (alongside phrases like "The Hawking Dead"), and trademarking his name would allow him to control when and how his name is used. Both he and Brian Cox, another well-known scientist, reportedly applied for trademarks earlier this month in the UK.

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According to the Times, Hawking wants to keep his name from being exploited or used inappropriately, and he also has "charitable and educational purposes" in mind. CNBC thinks that means he could be planning to set up a foundation for ALS, which he's been living with since 1963. "It's a personal matter, it is not a university issue, but he has taken measures to protect his name and the success it has brought," says a Cambridge University rep. An expert tells LiveScience that if Hawking is successful, his trademarked name could be worth millions. (Read more Stephen Hawking stories.)

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