Personal Names can be Protected as Trademarks: Just Ask John Elway
Huffington Post: In a letter from his trademark attorneys, legendary quarterback, John Elway, asks a Colorado-based punk band that goes by the name 'Elway' to stop using his personal name.
Personal names are protected under the ACPA, UDRP and other trademark laws. The trademark attorneys for John Elway took an interesting approach. Instead of sending a cease and desist letter, they politely asked the band to consider changing its name. It certainly doesn't look like there's much merit to a trademark infringement claim under the facts presented in the article. The band makes no reference to football or John Elway in any of their songs, artwork or marketing. It appears to be purely coincidental that the band name is also the same as the famous celebrity football player John Elway. If John Elway really wants the band to change names, he probably is going to have to pay them some money.