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What can Jarryd Hayne teach us about IP law?

After making the move to NFL, Jarryd Hayne swiftly ensured his brand was protected under Australian law.

What lessons can Australian celebrities teach us about intellectual property? Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne is ensuring his brand is adequately protected by registering trademarks.

The Hayne Plane

Jarryd Hayne exploded onto the NFL scene in the United States and is earning more than he would with his former team in Australia. With Hayne signing a sponsorship deal with Under Armour, his net worth is set to substantially increase from the current level of $1.1 million to a potential $12 million over the next three years.

Hayne's story is highly marketable and in order to ensure he retains the profit from his story, he has obtained certain trademarks.

In August this year, Hayne applied for a trademark under his own company, JH38 Holdings, in order to prevent anyone from profiting from his name.

Hayne trademarked certain phrases associated with his name in order to prevent those not affiliated with him from profiting from his name. Records reveal that Hayne has registered 'Jarryd Hayne', 'The Hayne Plane' and 'The Jarryd Hayne Story', as well as other variations of these phrases.

The athlete has been quick to call out companies, condemning an unauthorised company on Facebook for selling merchandise with his name and number. 

"This isn't my fan page nor did I give permission for anybody to use my image or number," he posted on September 6 2015.

By registering a trademark, Hayne can protect his brand in the same way a patent can provide design protection

What is a trademark?

A trademark can be can a slogan, such as the Hayne Plane, or something more abstract such as a sound, smell, shape or logo.

It is common for major celebrities to register their names as trademarks. Earlier this year, pop singer Taylor Swift made headlines when she trademarked phrases and lyrics from her latest album. 

While they can still be used for arbitrary commercial purposes, they cannot be used if the slogan is directly linked to profiting the individual or company who registered the trademark.

Trademark registration in Australia is enforced under the 1995 Trademark Act, allowing Hayne to register his name. 

According to the Australian government, a registered trademark gives you exclusive rights commercially use, license or sell it for goods and services. In light of the merchandise being sold under his name, Hayne sought a trademark to prevent companies he is not affiliated with from doing so. 

The best way to ensure that you have registered your trademark correctly is to talk to a professional attorney well versed in Australian law. Contact the team at Alder IP for any questions regarding registering a trademark.