If a real person's name is trademarked, does it prevent you from using that name in headlines or blogs? For example, Morgan Freeman is trademarked. So if I blog "Morgan Freeman is the greatest actor ever." Or, Morgan Freeman is the worst actor ever," is that legally violating trademark? After all, many blogs use their posts to bring in traffic to make income via advertisements. If you really want to avoid infringement should you write "Morgan Freeman® is the most interesting actor ever."
No, the fact that a real person's name is trademarked does not prevent you from using that name in headlines or blogs IF you are truly commenting on or analyzing the person's work, etc. versus just posting the name to drive business to the website. For a more detailed discussion about using trademarks, go to the article @ the link below.
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If you went on stage or engaged in other entertainment as "Morgan Freeman" that would be trademark (actually service mark) infringement. Writing about a product or service provider in a blog is not infringement unless what you wrote implied an endorsement.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
No, this is called "nominative fair use". You have to use the name in order to identify who you are talking about, so that is not illegal. Where you would run into trouble is if you were trying to imply an endorsement or affiliation.
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