Celebrity Trademark Stories You Won’t Even Believe
It’s not at all unusual for successful businesses to try to trademark a symbol, catchphrase, or anything else in an attempt to protect their brands from would-be thieves. When celebrities do it, disaster results. The following are some of the most outrageous celebrity trademark stories you’ll hear about; almost enough to make you think that we need to tighten some of the regulations that govern trademark law. Take a breath, because you’re about to lose some brain cells.
The New England Patriots have weathered their fair share of controversy in years past, and you can add ridiculous trademark attempts to the list. The team tried to trademark “Perfect Season” and “19-0” even though they lost. It isn’t the first time someone tried to do this. The Kraft Group tried to trademark “Road to Perfection” and the aforementioned phrases in 2008 after the Patriots were set for that year’s Super Bowl. They actually got “Road to Perfection” but since they never actually won either Super Bowl, they still haven’t sealed the deal on the other two phrases. Sadly, this type of Super Bowl trademarking isn’t even unusual.
Snooki once tried–and failed–to trademark her nickname. She did this in an attempt to keep the branding for her book rights and TV personality, but unfortunately for her the trademark had already been granted in 2004 to a fictional cat by the same name. All right, not exactly the same name. The cat’s name was Snooky. Close enough, right? The Trademark Office thought so, stating that there could be confusion. Tough luck.
As if you haven’t already heard enough about Donald Trump, the New York native tried and failed to trademark the Celebrity Apprentice catchphrase “You’re Fired!” way back in 2004. Apparently the Trademark Office believed that there could be confusion with another similar trademark from a game called “You’re Hired!” A pottery shop in Chicago also goes by the name “You’re Fired”, and the judge didn’t want to take away their business for the likes of Donald Trump. A good decision.
Sarah Palin is another politician known for both her personality and decision-making skills. She tried to trademark her name, but forgot to sign the registration forms. She also tried to trademark her daughter Bristol’s name. Both were for the motivational speaking. Although the forms were denied because they lacked signatures, the judge who made the decision also noted that the Palins would have to prove that their names were used for commerce. It’s rather unfortunate that someone can trademark their own name, but that’s the world we live in.
These are only a few of the celebrity trademark stories out there, but at this point you probably won’t be surprised that there are many, many more!
Taylor Swift is notorious for trademarking things so other artists can’t take advantage of her work. Watch this video to learn more: