The Imitation Game might be a surprising Best Picture nominee
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently approved a petition from Taylor Swift to trademark the words “This Sick Beat” and a few phrases like “Party Like It’s 1989” and “Cause We Never Go Out of Style” off her 1989 album. These phrases and terms can only be used by Taylor on various merchandise like walking sticks, toiletries, and clothing. Taylor’s not alone. Several other celebrities have applied for trademark protection on their own catchphrases. Some of them have succeeded, and others were summarily rejected. Here are some of the weirdest trademark encounters:
1. 50 Cent: Rapper Curtis Jackson owns the trademark to his nickname, which carries over to not only his records but clothing and several other uses in between. Jackson was even able to enforce his mark against Taco Bell in 2008 when they asked him to change his name to “79 Cent,” “89 Cent,” or “99 Cent” during a commercial.
2. “That’s Hot”: Paris Hilton built her brand around airhead phrases, including this one that hails back to her Simple Life days on MTV. Her mark only applies in limited situations, including alcohol, clothing, and electronic devices.
3. Tebowing: The former NFL quarterback for the New York Jets and Denver Broncos was best known for his signature kneeling prayer on one bent knee. At times, add a closed fist to his forehead. He won the trademark in 2012 but never (directly) used it to make money. Tebow simply wanted to protect his gesture and “make sure it’s used in the right way.”
4. “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble”: Another sports-related trademark went to Michael Buffer, the boxing announcer with the well-known catchphrase. After receiving his mark in 1992, he earned more than $400 million by selling the rights to various video game makers and movie productions.
5. OctoMom: The one and only Nadya Suleman capitalized upon her eight simultaneous babies by securing her nickname as a moneymaker. She planned to use it for a diaper brand name and in television engagements. A month before Suleman successfully filed her own trademark application, another petition from a video game maker was denied.
6. “BAM!”: Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse popularized this term on the Home Network. He has since used the phrase to sell cookbooks, cookware, and various merchandise and clothing.
7. “Tiger Blood”: Charlie Sheen attempted to trademark this term, along with several others (Duh, winning,” “Adonis DNA,” and “Violent Torpedo of Truth”) during his most recent meltdown phase. Of his 34 trademark applications, he abandoned 19 of them. Several others were flat-out refused, and a few have received only preliminary approval.
8. Blue Ivy: Jay-Z and Beyonce trademarked their daughter’s name, Blue Ivy, before the child was even born. Their complete intentions in doing so have not been revealed, but the two-year-old little girl will one day appreciate the rights bestowed upon her own name.
9. “The Situation: During the nightmare that was the Jersey Shore‘s heyday, Mike Sorrentino attempted to trademark the nickname for his own abdominal muscles. Sitch planned to use his mark for everything from tracksuits to tuxedos to bathing suits. His application was rejected, along with the petition for “GTL,” which stood for “gym, tan, laundry.”
10. “Jeah!: In 2012, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte successfully captured the mark for this word that means nothing at all. Actually … “it means, like, almost everything. Like happy. Like, if you have a good swim, you say, ‘Jeah!'” The unassuming fellow uses the mark on swim goggles, jewelry, and sunglasses. Jeah!