WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to join the elite world of Australian and international sport, entertainment and business identities by trademarking his WikiLeaks organisation and personal name.

He will join a list that includes Sir Donald Bradman, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Elle McPherson, Donald Trump, Dick Smith, Kylie Minogue, Brett Lee, Leyton and Bec Hewitt, Glenn McGrath and Mark Webber, among others.

The successful trademarking of names (corporate and personal) is the ideal next step for many who want protection against ill-use of their identities and to shrewdly leverage their well-known status for financial capitalisation.

You would suspect that part of this recent decision is to help WikiLeaks raise funds for its founder’s legal bills and includes an online shop selling T shirts, mugs and stickers depicting Assange’s image – one as Che Guevara with ‘Viva la Informacion’ as the slogan. Assange is also writing a book for which he received a tidy $1.3 million advance, and Steven Spielberg has just bought the rights to the story of the WikiLeaks saga…