You've probably heard by now that Cara Delevingne, a lady who needs no introduction, has made the business savvy move of trademarking her name. She filed to register a trademark in December 2012 and was granted protection in January.
You may have read some reports where the journalist was perplexed as to why Cara would want to prevent others from releasing items such as walking sticks and emery boards with her name on. Even Sara Karmali at Vogue.com was confused. What such journalists don't know, and obviously couldn't be bothered to find out, was that when you file for a trademark, you have to specify the classes in which you want trademark protection. So, Cara has protection in four classes related to fashion and accessories. It doesn't mean that she plans to release every product in every class. It's just the way the system works. You specify the class of goods, not the particular goods you plan to release.
What I think is much more interesting than the speculation over Cara branded walking sticks and umbrellas is the fact that now Cara has trademarked her name, she has five years to put the trademark to 'genuine use' or the registration will be revoked (Trade Marks Act 1994 s.46).
What does this mean? Well, we can expect Cara branded goodies pretty soon as Cara is likely to want to assert her ownership of the trademark.
Cara will reap many benefits from registering her name, not least that she won't have to rely on the common law action of passing off, which is the only protection offered to the owners of non-registered trademarks, and which incidentally is incredibly hard to prove.