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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 12:01 GMT
Robbie signs up name as trademark
Robbie Williams
A lucrative commodity
Robbie Williams has registered his name as a trademark in an attempt to prevent people from cashing in on his fame.

The singer has reserved the right to use his name on goods ranging from videos and CDs to crayons and napkins.

He is also protected for "printed matter", which includes calendars.

Madonna and David Beckham are among other celebrities who have filed names to give them protection and ammunition to avoid costly legal battles.

Trademarks aim to allow people to distinguish between traders' goods and services, but many well-known figures have used the system provided their name is considered "distinctive" enough.

Massive interest

Williams is one of Britain's biggest musical stars and he played to 375,000 people over three nights at Knebworth in the summer - the biggest event in UK music history.

The 29-year-old is covered for a wide range of music and video recordings as well as clothing merchandise under the terms of the trademark.

A spokesman for the Patent Office said: "Unauthorised use of a mark means the rightful owner may lose business or goodwill."

Registering a trademark costs 200 for an initial application which has to be published in the Trade Marks Journal to allow people three months in which to object.

The mark lasts for 10 years and can be renewed.

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