Taylor Swift Capitalizes on Trademark Applications to Protect Her Brand

Taylor Swift has been raising eyebrows recently, but not for the reasons you may think. This time, instead of the 25-year-old pop star’s love life being the topic of discussion, it’s her recent legal activity. Swift & Co has filed more than 37 federal trademark applications in the past six months, setting off a firestorm of speculation.

Swift’s applications seek protection for phrases like “this sick beat,” “Party like it’s 1989,” and “nice to meet you, where you been?” Many of these phrases are actually lyrics from her immensely popular songs. Additionally, instead of filing one trademark application for multiple classes of goods for each mark, Swift has filed separate trademark applications for each class. The result is over 16 filed trademark applications for each phrase, with each application seeking protection for a different good or service. It may seem like overkill, but there is actually a clever (albeit expensive) strategy behind the parsed filings. If Swift was to run into problems with clearance for any one class, the other applications for the same mark will not be affected. Conversely, if all classes were claimed in one application and there was a clearance issue, the entire application process for each class would be stalled.

Below are some examples of the different classes of goods and services Swift has filed applications for.

Home Décor
Musical Instruments
Entertainment Services
Paper Products
Hair Accessories
Utensils and Containers

While some may be surprised at Swift’s aggressive protection strategy, it’s not uncommon for a big time celebrity to capitalize on registered trademarks. Swift has a major world tour on the horizon with a tremendous merchandising opportunity. This flurry of trademark applications could be a preventative measure to protect her brand from unauthorized use by vendors while she is promoting her music worldwide, or it could indicate a potential launch of a new line of products produced by Swift in anticipation of her tour.

Either way, there is a lot of money in the Taylor Swift brand— her net worth is currently at $200 million.

This is not the first time Swift has been in the spotlight for trademark issues. In 2014, she was sued by online clothing retailer Blue Sphere, Inc., over her use of the phrase “Lucky13”. Blue Sphere also did business under the name “Lucky13”, accusing Swift of infringing on their trademark by marketing her own line of goods bearing the name. The case is still ongoing.  

Docket Alarm can help you keep up with Taylor’s legal activity. Click here to view legal actions involving Swift. To receive updates, you can hit the “get new lawsuit alerts” button to keep tabs on Taylor.

Docket Alarm is an advanced search and litigation tracking service for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), Bankruptcy Courts, and Federal Courts across the United States. Docket Alarm searches and tracks millions of dockets and documents for thousands of users.

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