6 September 2017Trademarks

Taylor Swift seeks to trademark lyrics from ‘Reputation’ album

Pop star Taylor Swift has begun another round of trademark applications, to coincide with the upcoming release of her album “Reputation”.

In late August, Swift’s marketing company TAS (Taylor Alison Swift) Rights Management applied to register the marks ‘Look what you made me do’, ‘Reputation’, and ‘The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now’.

The mark ‘ Look what you made me do’, which is also the title of a recently-released song by Swift, is being applied for in international classes 9 (music recordings), 16 (notebooks), 18 (bags), 25 (clothing), 26 (phone accessories), and 41 (entertainment services).

“Look what you made me do” is one of two songs from “Reputation” that have already been released, despite the album not being launched until November.

In February 2015, Swift applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office to register ‘This Sick Beat’, which is a lyric from her single “Shake it Off”.

Other phrases Swift sought to protect include ‘Nice to meet you. Where you been’, a lyric from her song “Blank Space”, and ‘Party like it’s 1989’ – a reference to her album title “1989”.

In response to the previous trademarking activity, musician Ben Norton recorded a protest song, describing the trademarking of the phrases as an “attack on freedom of speech”.

Norton’s track consists of the three words ‘This Sick Beat’ being repeatedly shouted with the words ‘This Sick Beat tm’ flashing on the screen.

In a statement accompanying the video, Norton said that the registering of trademarks for “common idioms” is a “direct attack on one of the most fundamental and inalienable rights of all: our freedom of speech”.

Later in 2015, Swift continued her trend of seeking to trademark phrases that she has made popular, this time filing a seasonal application for the term ‘Swiftmas’.

The phrase is used by Swift’s fans to describe random acts of kindness she makes.

TAS Rights Management filed the application, along with applications for the term ‘Blank space’, the name of one of her songs, and the phrases ‘And I’ll write your name’ and ‘A girl named girl’.

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More on this story

11 December 2015   Singer Taylor Swift has continued her trend of seeking to trademark phrases that she has made popular, this time filing a seasonal application for the term ‘Swiftmas’.
12 September 2017   Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is not the only celebrity who has dipped her toes into the trademark world.
20 September 2017   Pop star Taylor Swift has again found herself in court over alleged copyright infringement in relation to her hit song “Shake it Off”.