Taylor Swift has created a firestorm by filing trademark applications for
“This sick beat”
“Party like it’s 1989”
“Could show you incredible things”
“Cause we never go out of style”
People think this is an attack on our free speech rights. An example can be seen at https://peculate.bandcamp.com/track/this-sick-beat.
Let me set the record straight.
First of all Ms. Swift did NOT trademark these phrases. I just researched all of them and she has submitted about 50 US trademark APPLICATIONS for these phrases. Most of these she says she intends to use. She wants to get trademarks for a variety of goods and services in a number of different classes including entertainment services, clothing, paper goods, toiletries, etc.
If anyone wants a complete list of Ms. Swift’s applications, just let me know.
Second, these applications have to be examined and the US Trademark Office may refuse some of them on various grounds. It may be possible for her attorneys to overcome some or all of these refusals. This process will take at least a year.
Finally, for any application that is approved, she must use the phrase in connection with goods and services that she is selling in commerce and demonstrate to the Office that she has done so. Then, she will have registered some trademarks and service marks in the US.
These registrations will give her the ability to prevent others from selling the same kinds of goods and services in this country under confusingly similar names. Nothing else. This is not an attack on our free speech rights.