Taylor Swift Files to Trademark ‘This Sick Beat’

by LegalCleanup.com

Taylor Swift is serious about her money. When she refused to put her ‘1989’ album on Spotify and then pulled her old albums from the streaming service as well, the music industry and consumers took notice.

Swift, and presumably her legal and business team, are taking great care to further protect her intellectual property with recent applications to trademark several phrases from her album, including: ‘This Sick Beat,’ ‘Cause We Never Go Out Of Style,’ and ‘Party Like It’s 1989.’ One can’t help but wonder how Prince feels about the latter. But that’s another issue.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal office responsible for trademark registration. The website, USPTO.gov, provides information on how to register a trademark, how to trademark a phrase and how to conduct a trademark search.

Trademarks are more commonly known as brand names and help consumers “identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” When a phrase suddenly becomes famous, it’s usually not too long before someone decides to put it on a t-shirt or mug and turn a quick profit. When someone decides to trademark a phrase formally with a registered trademark, they can prevent others from profiting from the phrase that they created and seek damages in court against the offending party if they try.

The database Justia.com lists the phrases that Swift’s team is attempting to trademark and the items that could be sold with the protected phrases. Sales could include items as diverse as ringtones, cell phone covers, lanyards, glasses, soap, nail polish, perfume, clothing and much more.

While Swift may not end up using all the phrases and may not sell all the items that are listed for possible sale, she at least can keep others from using phrases from her songs to make money without her permission. That is something that the author Harper Lee learned the hard way. She did not intend to make money by selling merchandise based on her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. However, someone else did. Lee had to go through a great deal of effort to get her trademarks in order to stop the sale of a variety of goods that she did not authorize.

Because Swift is in the spotlight, many will try to capitalize on any affiliation with her. Apparently even an alleged former guitar teacher. A recent TIME article states that Ronnie Cremer’s website Itaughttaylorswift.com has caught the ire of Swift’s legal team. He has been told that the site violates her trademark, her name, and needs to be shut down. Time will tell whether Swift’s team decides to just shake it off or if this teacher learns a tough lesson from a student.


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