With Psalm West (the latest addition to the Kardashian-West clan) only two weeks old, the internet has been shocked to find out that his name may already be under trademark protection. Mom Kim Kardashian-West has filed for Psalm West’s trademark protection under her company, and the protections are expansive. This is hardly a new move: Kardashian-West has filed similar protections for Saint, North and Chicago West, and sisters Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have filed trademarks for True Thompson and Stormi Webster, respectively. Looking at all the product lines the Kar-Jenner clan wants protected, it’s easy to spin this as over-eager monetization of the fascination with their young brood. But given the cash value of this reality TV-famous family, it’s honestly just a smart financial decision.
For Psalm West, Kardashian-West has 16 records on file with the USPTO, covering “hair accessories, calendars, books, photo albums, jewelry, handbags, linens, baby bottles, toys, advertising services, skincare products, furniture, clothing” and more. Kourtney Kardashian has notably not trademarked her children’s names, though she did trademark Penelope’s nickname “Poosh” to use for the name of her new lifestyle website. Kylie, on the other hand, trademarked not only Stormi’s name, but “StormiWorld:” the title of Stormi’s first birthday party.
It’s unclear what Kylie — or any of her sisters — hope to do with these trademarks. But, as The Fashion Law points out, trademarks are just as often about preventing other people from using a certain name. Back in 2013, Jay-Z explained his reasoning for trying to trademark Blue Ivy Carter’s name to Vanity Fair: “People wanted to make products based on our child’s name and you don’t want anybody trying to benefit off your baby’s name.” Jay-Z was ultimately unsuccessful in securing that trademark, since he had no discernible commercial intentions to benefit off his baby’s name either.
In order to qualify for a trademark, one must prove use of the trademarked entity “in a commercial capacity on any of the classes of goods and services for which they are seeking registration.” For Kim, that would mean providing proof that she’s using the name Psalm West in a commercial capacity for any of the goods she’s filing for: a Psalm West skincare line, or Psalm West-branded baby bottles. We have a feeling the Kar-Jenner’s won’t struggle with this requirement for trademark approval, given their affinity for branding products with the family name. Kylie has already announced a Stormi palette for Kylie Cosmetics, to be designed as soon as “she can pick her own colors.”
Not only will these families undoubtedly use the trademarks they’re filing for, but they’d be at huge risk of others using their kids’ names if they didn’t. Like it or not, these names already have huge brand recognition — and if someone’s going to make money off your child’s name, wouldn’t you want to be in control of how it’s being used? Finally, there’s the issue of these children’s net worth: like baby Archie’s, it’s undoubtedly astronomical. The Kar-Jenners aren’t being frivolous or overly protective by filing for trademark protection. They’re simply doing due diligence to protect some of their largest assets.
If you don’t like the idea of considering finances when it comes to your children, it’s a good thing you weren’t born to the Calabasas royal family. When these kids grow up, they can decide what they want to do with that trademark protection (assuming their parents’ requests are all approved). But until then, we doubt any of the Kar-Jenner moms will regret their decision.