Stephen Hawking to trademark his name for charitable purposes

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World-renowned British celebrity physicist Stephen Hawking has applied to trademark his name primarily for charitable purposes, it has been revealed.

Professor Hawking has applied to the Intellectual Property Office to have his name formally registered, and another English physicist, Brian Cox, has already made the move. According to reports, Hawking is going ahead with this in a bid to stop others from exploiting his name with inappropriate products – a step that many celebrities like JK Rowling and David Beckham have already taken. [Read: Stephen Hawking: “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression”]

Both Cox and Hawking, well known for their ground-breaking work in the world of physics, now share the honour of becoming fully fledged brands by getting their names trademarked.

For Professor Hawking, subject of the Oscar-winning film ‘The Theory of Everything’, the primary aim is to prevent others from exploiting his name with inappropriate products. [Read: Stephen Hawking will be talking to Australian audience for the first time in April]

“It’s a personal matter for Stephen Hawking; it is not a university issue, but he has taken measures to protect his name and the success it has brought,” said a spokesman for Cambridge University, where he is Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

He has also applied to get his name trademarked for charitable purposes, giving him the option of setting up a foundation, such as one to promote physics or for research into motor neurone disease, which has left him paralysed at the age of 21. [Read: Stephen Hawking pegs space as an important life insurance for future survival]

Chris McLeod, president of the Institute of Trademark Attorneys, said the move could be worth millions of pounds.

His trademark would cover computer games, powered wheelchairs, greetings cards and health care.