While businesses and brands look to trade mark logos, shapes and taglines, the world of celebrity opens up a world of weird and wonderful trade mark applications.
We’ve been looking at some of the strangest trade mark applications over recent years.
Taylor Swift and lyrics
She may be one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but it’s not just about the singing for Taylor Swift. She’s also got a team of lawyers combing her lyrics for anything that could be trade marked and then used on merchandise.
Her most recent trade mark application is allegedly lyrics from her newest song Look What You Made Me Do. The song was released on 24 August and caused a stir among Swift fans as it appears to contain lyrics directed at some of her famous celebrity feuds.
The specific lyric that Swift has allegedly tried to register as a trade mark is: “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now”. According to TMZ, she has also filed a trade mark for other phrases from her upcoming album, which is called Reputation. Swift also has form on these kinds of trade mark applications. In 2015, she successfully secured a trade mark for the line: “this sick beat” from her hugely successful single Shake It Off.
Sarah Palin and her name
Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin attempted to register a trade mark for her own name, as well as her daughter’s, in 2011.
Sadly, Palin apparently neglected to sign her name correctly on the documentation, and so her registration attempt was declined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Paris Hilton and the phrase “That’s hot”
Cast your mind back to the mid-2000s when Paris Hilton was hot property with her series of reality TV shows. One of her most famous sayings was “That’s hot” and so confident was Hilton that people connected her with those words she sued greeting card company Hallmark for using her catchphrase. As Hallmark also used her image on one of their products, Hilton was successful with her law suit.
Her complaint allegedly sought half a million dollars in actual damages, all for a greeting card that was apparently on sale for £2.49.
The Jersey Shore’s Snooki and her nickname
In 2010, Nicola Polizzi, one of the cast members of then-successful reality TV show The Jersey Shore’ tried to register a trade mark for her nickname, ‘Snooki’.
Sadly for Polizzi, the USPTO was forced to deny her request as there is already a cat somewhere in America with the name already registered as a trade mark. The cat’s arguably more famous than Snooki now with its own set of books: The Adventures of Snooky, created by Brian J Publishing.
Mark Zuckerberg and the word ‘Face’
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg already owns everything on your profile, and according to records, he also owns the word ‘Face’. An application was apparently approved back in 2010, which grants Zuckerberg’s company a ‘Notice of Allowance’. This means Facebook has a trade mark on the word ‘Face’, but only under certain circumstances.
Trump and “You’re fired”
He may be President now, but there was a time when Donald Trump was simply the host of The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice.
Back in those simpler times, he applied to register the phrase “You’re fired” as a trade mark. This would have allowed him to put the phrase on endless amounts of merchandise. It’s also used by Lord Sugar in the UK version of the popular reality TV show.
The application was denied as the phrase sounds similar to “You’re hired”, which is registered as a trade mark belonging to the makers of a board game with the same name.
About Dawn Ellmore Employment
Dawn Ellmore Employment was incorporated in 1995 and is a market leader in intellectual property and legal recruitment.