World-renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, 73, is turning his name into trademark for charitable purposes.
The move will also prevent others from exploiting his name with inappropriate products, celebrities like JK Rowling and David Beckham, who have turned their names into brands.
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.
Both the scientists, 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.
“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, The Sunday Times reported.
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.