In the music industry, a name is a more than just a name. It’s a brand. As with any brand, owners will protect their rights at any cost.People in bands spend years trying to come up with the perfect name. They will write an entire record before knowing what they’ll call themselves.
Trademarking a band name ensures that if a band begins to garner a following, another band by the same name won’t hinder their success. Several famous bands were forced to change their names when other bands with similar monikers filed suit against them.
When bands finally achieve commercial success, everyone knows their names. Because they want to preserve their rights and reputations, they take seemingly extreme measures to protect their trademarks.
Today, we round up five famous faces who have attempted, and sometimes failed, to trademark their slogans, names, and even twins. The trademark covers use with multimedia entertainment services in the nature of recording, production, and post production services in the fields of music, video, film.
Beyoncé and her twins
Earlier this year, Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z applied to trademark the names of their recently born twins.
Donald Trump and the election
In March, he opposed a trademark application by Springs Global US for the term ‘Make America Great Again’.
The mark was abandoned after an inter partes review by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
He’s not been so lucky in every endeavour though—Trump also tried to trademark registration the slogan ‘You’re fired’, made popular through his TV series ‘The Apprentice’.
This was applied for in March 2004, for use on alcoholic beverages, toys and sporting goods and various home items.
The application, along with several other ‘You’re fired’ related trademarks including ‘You’re fired Donald Trump’, were all abandoned in 2005.
The devil’s in the detail: Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons, front man for the band Kiss, hit the headlines in June this year over the so-called devil horns hand gesture. Simmons received a backlash from figures in the rock music industry, with several claiming the gesture is a universal symbol for rock and roll.
50 Cent v Taco Bell
Taco Bell sent a joke letter addressed to 50 Cent to news outlets around the country, but not to the rapper, the suit said. The rapper claimed this led consumers to believe he was part of the campaign.In 2009, the New York Post reported that a settlement had been reached.
Paris Hilton takes on Hallmark
Back in 2009, celebrity Paris Hilton did battle with greeting card maker Hallmark.
Hilton sued Hallmark over a card that made a pun on the phrase and featured a caption that read “Paris's First Day as a Waitress”.