Imagine if you saw that a company was trying to trademark something in common daily life. For example, you see a company trying to trademark the name "Cinderella," even though it's a classic character. Normally, a trademark can't be obtained for things that are in the public domain.
Do you, though, have a right to question a trademark application, if it doesn't affect you directly? Generally, you have to have a reasonable interest in the issue. That means that normally, it's your own business under threat that you're trying to protect when you file an opposition to the trademark application.
That's a question that has to be addressed in this case, though. A law professor has taken on a major corporation claiming that it cannot trademark the name "Rapunzel." According to the June 5 news, the professor from Massachusetts is trying to stop a California company from trademarking the name.
The Suffolk University professor asked federal officials to reject the application for the trademark on the basis that the name "Rapunzel" belongs to a fairytale character that is in the public domain. The professor is being represented by students in the school's intellectual property clinic and a second Suffolk law professor.
The attorney for United Trademark Holdings, the company trying to obtain a trademark, has stated that he or she doesn't believe that the professor has a right to challenge the trademark, because the professor isn't a competitor. As of now, it hasn't been determined if the professor will be allowed to move forward; the company pointed out that it does own trademarks for other character names.
Source: ABC 6, "Law professor fights company's claim to 'Rapunzel' trademark," June 05, 2018