Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Naeha Prakash


The widespread celebrity culture in today's society has signaled a shift from celebrity product endorsers to celebrity brands. Right of publicity and trademark laws leave a gap that does not adequately protect a brand as a whole. Rather, these laws make a distinction between the celebrity identity and the product, limiting protection of a brand that includes both components. Social norms found in the interaction between celebrities and fans can provide an alternate form of protection that reinforces ownership rights found in pure intellectual property. This article argues that a celebrity brand should foster fan goodwill to build a brand community that provides both consumers and social norms protection. Furthermore, intellectual property laws should take into account existing norms to determine ownership rights and to enhance the co-creation of value found between fans and celebrity brands.