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  5. 10 Strangest Trademarks Ever (Part I)

Introduction

Remember the green logo on your Starbucks coffee? And how about the half-eaten Apple on your iPhone?Of course, you would remember because these are all trademarks which help us identify legit products and brands. On a daily basis we come across hundreds of trademarks, starting from the morning coffee to the last meal of the day. Trademarks can be any symbol, design, word, phrase, sound or a combination of any of these things which has the ability to differentiate the products or services given by one brand from the products and service given by other. The Amul milk which most of us use for our morning coffee is a registered trademark, Tata Salt which we use in most of our meals is also a registered trademark and even the Aashirvaadwheat flour is a trademark owned by ITC limited. Such trademarks are common and authentic as they have some purpose behind its registration, but have you ever come across something too weird or strange which is registered as a trademark? If not, in this article (in part I and part II), we shall be coveringtotal 10 strangest trademarks (1 to 5 in Part I, 6 to 10 in Part II) around the world which are quite unusual, rare, and hence strange!

1. The Sound of Darth Vader’s breathing

[US TM Registration No.- 3618322; Owner- Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC]

The sound of someone’s breathing and trademark registration, isn’t it a strange combination? The producer of Star Wars movies has registered numerous trademarks along with the term ‘Star War’ itself and the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing is one of them. Darth is one of the characters in their famous franchise of Star Wars which has a mechanical sound of breathing. Lucasfilm got the breathing sound registered as a trademark under the US Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) in 2008. The trademark is registered under two different classes; class 25 for clothing, headgears and footwears and class 28 for games, playthings and decoration material.

2. Taylor Swift’s lyrics “THIS SICK BEAT”

[US TM Registration No.-5142230 (class 016), 5124811(class 25), 5256645 (class 015); Owner- TAS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT, LLC]

Are you fond of music?If yes, we are sure you would recognize the famous Taylor Swift-one of the most successful American singers. Taylor has often proved that she is very protective of everything which belongs to her as she is the first singer to get the lyrics of a song registered as a trademark. She registered the lyrics “This Sick Beat” from her solo ‘Shake it off’song under three separate classes bearing different registration numbers. The singer is earning a significant amount of revenue by registering her lyric through sales of musical instruments (class 015), stationery products such as notebooks (class 016) and clothes and footwear (class 025). Taylor has certainly inspired many other singers registering their lyric in order to earn profits through their merchandise.

3. Zippo’s lighterclick sound

[US TM Registration No.- 5527388; Owner- Zippo Manufacturing Company ]

Have you ever heard the sound of a lighter when you open it?If you haven’t then you must try the sound of Zippo’s lighter which is as unique and extremely popularsound. The said sound was registered as a sound trademark in December 2018 under the US office. The Zippo lighter received the love and popularity due to its ‘windproof’ feature which keeps the lighter ignited even in the harsh and windy weathers.The trademark is registered under class 34 particularly for lighters. Sound trademarks are difficult to register as it is a challenge for the owner to prove how the sound of its product differentiates itself from the product of others. For instance, Harley Davidson also tried to register the sound of its engines but was not able to prove its uniqueness and therefore dropped it.

4. Blue Ivy- Beyonce’s first child name

[US TM Application No.- 86883293; Owner- BGK Trademark Holdings, LLC]

Have you ever thought about getting the name of your child registered as a trademark? I bet you haven’t. Beyonce Carter, the most popular American singer and actor has registered the name of her daughter, obviously with her consent as a trademark across various countries around the world and EU is one of them. Blue Ivy, the Grammy award winner, a nine-year-old girl is the first daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, the trademark is registered as Blue Ivy Carter under 16 different classes in the EU office. Furthermore, Beyonce has also come closer to the registration in the US office after winning the battle against a wedding planner named Veronica Morales who runs a business by the name of Blue Ivy Events.

5. The chime sound on Apple’s Mac

[US TM Registration No.- 4257783; Owner- Apple Inc.]

Owning Apple products is certainly a luxury, and the brand has registered hundreds of trademarks such as the brand name, the apps which are exclusively owned by it and many more. Apple has not just protected the apps, devices and products it sells but even the chime sound of the Macbookwhen you turn it on is also one of the trademarks owned by the brand in the US. In its old devices, there was this swipe-to-unlock feature on its phone which was registered by Apple as well.The company also sued Samsung for copying the swipe-to-unlock feature. Apple has never hesitated to register the trademarks belonging to them and that is how each brand should be!

Conclusion-

Be it strange or not, every brand name deserves right recognition and protection. Trademarks can protect not just your brand name, or logo but also distinctive sounds, taglines, lyrics, dialogues and stage names of artists.

At Photon Legal, we have been advising and helping our clients for registering their trademarks in record time for years. So get your trademarks registered today to protect and grow your business! If you have any queries or require assistance, please reach us at photon.ip@photonlegal.com .

Liked our article? You may also like to read our related blogs to understand more-

  1. Why Should you file for Trademarks?-https://photonlegal.com/why-should-you-file-for-trademarks/
  2. Can Hashtags be Trademarked?-https://photonlegal.com/can-hashtags-be-trademarked/
  3. Madrid Application- A one-stop solution for International Registration of Trademarks- https://photonlegal.com/madrid-application-a-one-stop-solution-for-international-registration-of-trademarks/
  4. Artistic Trademarks-https://photonlegal.com/artistic-trademarks/
  5. What are the Rights of a Singer?-https://photonlegal.com/what-are-the-rights-of-a-singer/
  6. The Reality of Indian Music Industry- https://photonlegal.com/the-reality-of-indian-music-industry/
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