Palin might be seeking some protection of her name on the internet. Whereas her right to interfere with other published works is more assured under libel law, the internet is a harder medium to enjoin. In 2005, Morgan Freeman was forced to file for a trademark in order to remove a website from using his name as a domain to collect commercial traffic. The listed purposes for the Palins' trademarks are:
For Sarah Palin's application, there are two classes of commercial service for which her name would be a registered trademark. One is for "information about political elections" and "providing a website featuring information about political issues." The second is for "educational and entertainment services ... providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values."As "motivating" I'm sure Bristol's life choices are, I'm sure this has much more to do with Sarah Palin wanting to tie her "enemies" up in legal wrangling whenever they mention her or her daughter. As far as Sarah Palin goes, as long as she remains in a political realm, her trademark will be trumped by free speech concerns, unless of course a partisan Republican hack is hearing the case (e.g. Judge Vinson). The necessity of allowing an unfettered debate revolving around political figures trumps the trademark protections. This augurs a permanent exit from the actual political stage and one firmly entrenched in the Republican media money-making realm.
The "Bristol Palin" application is for "educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices."
As a quick comparison, "Barack Obama," "Mitt Romney," "Mike Huckabee," "Newt Gingrich," and even "Glenn Beck" appear to not be trademarked.