“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Wanna get some lunch?”
“Tim is such a creep.”
“Did you see Grey’s Anatomy last night?”
“I need to lose 5 lbs.”
English is predictable. English is finite. Certain English phrases are certain to show up more than others – which is why it’s so absurd that Taylor Swift would actually trademark five such phrases found within her 1989 album.
The phrases in question, at least three of them, are stupidly common in English vernacular, but Swift’s team of likely gung-ho attorneys wants to secure these phrases as part of Swift’s identity.
– This sick beat™
– Party like it’s 1989™
– Nice to meet you. Where you been?™
– Could show you incredible things™
– Cause we never go out of style™
A trademark can be established if “it is able to distinguish the goods or services of a party, will not confuse consumers about the relationship between one party and another, and will not otherwise deceive consumers with respect to the qualities.” I’m not really sure that lyrics can define a person, but Swift would like them to. And it’s definitely not about the royalties or money, as MIC so deftly points out, “Swift is not exactly in dire need of cash, and trademarking common English phrases is a pretty underhanded way to squeeze more money out of her brand.”
Thankfully, it seems that just the first two are the most heavily protected, being blocked from use on just about any item/apparel/public appearance that you can think of. The latter three are undeniably more common, and so do not meet the requirements of distinctiveness as established by the USPTO, but are still blocked on a variety of items. And that is a very good thing, because I would hate to relinquish my ability to use such fly lyrics in my next mixtape.
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