Professor Stephen Hawking to trademark name

Decision follows that of fellow scientist Brian Cox, who is also believed to have trademarked his name

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The Independent Online

As one of the best known scientists in the world, Professor Stephen Hawking has applied to trademark his name.

The theoretical physicist, cosmologist and best-selling author’s name is inked on everything from mugs to t-shirts, and it is believed that the decision will allow the eminent scientist some control over what his name is attached to.

Professor Hawking’s decision follows that of fellow scientist Professor Brian Cox, the Human Universe presenter, who is also already believed to have applied to the Intellectual Property Office to trademark his name.

The Cambridge scientist, whose life story was played out by Eddie Redmayne in an Oscar-winning film released earlier this year, plans to use the trademark in order to prevent individuals exploiting his name with inappropriate products.

A spokesperson for the university, where Professor Hawking is director of research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, said the decision was “a personal matter”.


“It is not a university issue, but he has taken measures to protect his name and the success it has bought,” the spokesperson told The Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported that Professor Hawking had applied to trademark his name for charitable purposes.

This move would allow him the option to set up a foundation or a research initiative into motor neurone disease – the degenerative condition he was diagnosed with aged just 21. 

Although it is relatively rare for individuals to trademark their names, the well known author JK Rowling and footballer David Beckham have both taken the step.