As CLP’s patent and trademark librarian, news items about these topics always catch my eye. Trademarks relating to popular culture are my favorite– did you know that Beyonce and Jay Z trademarked the name Blue Ivy? Recently Taylor Swift has been in the news for filing trademark applications for phrases from some of her songs, including “This Sick Beat” and “Could Show You Incredible Things.” Likewise, Katy Perry recently filed trademark applications for the “left shark” in her Superbowl performance.
Trademarks that make the news are often so crazy it might seem like you can easily get a trademark for anything! But in truth, most of us won’t be getting trademarks for the name of our first born, or sending cease and desist letters to someone after our Superbowl performance. This article does a really nice job of explaining why celebrities apply for trademarks on certain things, and why they may or may not be eligible.
As a Patent and Trademark Resource Center, we get lots of patent questions but far fewer trademark questions, for the simple reason that trademark law can be really tricky. But we’re still here to help! While we librarians can’t get into the nitty gritty of the law, we can help you start searching for trademarks, find forms or books about the trademark process, and find lawyers who are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.