The Right of Publicity was recently mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter’s ongoing Charlie Sheen coverage. The article located at the link below notes that catchphrases like “Here’s Johnny” have been ruled to implicate a person’s Right of Publicity (Johnny Carson, in relation to “Here’s Johnny”).
The Hollywood Reporter also posted an article covering the licensing deals Charlie Sheen’s representatives have put together, some of which focus on Charlie Sheen’s phrases like “Tiger Blood,” “Adonis DNA,” and “Winning.” At the same time, these phrases have been the subject of a rash of trademark applications as well–though not by Charlie Sheen.
It has been reported that Sheen’s representative, FEA Merchandising (a Live Nation subsidiary) has been pursuing unauthorized uses of Charlie Sheen’s name, image, and catchphrases, including recent product offerings that have popped up on sites like Zazzle.com.
The question that may have to be answered in those instances where infringement is alleged is whether or not Charlie Sheen is identifiable from the use.
Here is a link to one of the Hollywood Reporter articles covering Charlie Sheen’s recent media blitz: