California Estate Planning Attorney Reflects on Another Lesson From Steve Jobs: Protecting Intellectual Property in Estate Plans

8:52 pm Asset Protection, Estate Planning

steve jobs2 150x150 California Estate Planning Attorney Reflects on Another Lesson From Steve Jobs: Protecting Intellectual Property in Estate PlansGiven the nature of Steve Jobs’ personality and desire to protect his image and privacy, it is no surprise that when a Hong Kong company recently tried to introduce a Steve Jobs doll, Apple attorneys quickly shut them down.

In California, a celebrity’s public image is protected under California’s Celebrities Rights Act, which extends the personality rights for a celebrity to 70 years after their death.  The state’s “Astaire Celebrity Image Protection Act” (Civil Code section 3344.1) prohibits the unsanctioned use of the “name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness on or in products, merchandise or goods” of any person.

While the Chinese company argued that Jobs was not a movie star, the law extends to those who were famous enough for their image to have commercial value – and Jobs certainly fits that definition.

As noted in an article in The Trust Advisor regarding this case, this incident serves as a reminder of the importance of taking care of the intangibles in estate planning.  Even if you are not in the public eye, you may own photographs, correspondence, diaries or other important documents that you wish to keep private.  This can best be accomplished by discussing your wishes with your California estate planning attorney, who can help you protect your rights even after you are gone.

Contact us today and let our Newport Beach law firm help you with all your financial planning needs.

Leave a Comment

Your comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.