Trademark Dilution, Right of Publicity, Image Rights: A Comparative Analysis of US, UK, Australian and Japanese Law

By Dr Angela Adrian


In 2012, Guernsey established the world’s first image rights registry, allowing celebrities to commercially exploit not just their face but also their catchphrases, mannerisms and gestures. Usain Bolt[1], for example, is able to register his victory lightning pose to stop unscrupulous advertisers anywhere in the world from hawking their wares using an image of a black man in running gear pretending to be Raijin.[2] Intellectual property experts argue that current intellectual property laws fall short of protecting a person’s image and trade value. Guernsey, a major player in the wealth management industry, is well placed to implement legal structures which allow famous people an opportunity to benefit financially from their image and personality. This research will compare this new law and how it interacts with trademark dilution and publicity rights in the US, UK, Australia and Japan. This is an unexplored subject that will generate wide interest due to the implications in other legal systems. There is an increasing trend to regulate celebrity worldwide, and this law will have consequences in international law.

Download the full report (44 pages)

View a summary of this report on Angela Adrian’s personal blog

[1] USAIN BOLT: Registration No. 4200790; Registration Date: 4 September 2013 (REGISTRANT) Bolt, Usain St Leo aka Usain Bolt, Individual, Jamaica

[2]Or Thor, or Zeus, or Lei Gong, or any of the other Gods of Lightening; see generally Thunder Gods at (last accessed 21 February 2014)