Intellectual Property: That’s Hot®

After learning about intellectual property this week, I was really fascinated by the idea of trademarks. A trademark is a symbol, word, or a set of words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. In saying this, trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attached to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or licensees. Therefore, failure to abide by trademark laws may set you up for a lawsuit.

So, with the whole notion of copyright and trademarks instilled in my mind, I got thinking… what are the weirdest things that have been trademarked. Turns out, there are many.

One that stood out to me instantly was Paris Hilton’s “That’s Hot” phrase. Mostly because it’s a normal saying that the average person would use daily. Though, after it being such a well-known catchphrase on her reality show “The Simple Life”, she decided to trademark it.

There are a lot of ways pop culture defines things and one of those aspects is language. She was very hilarious and very smart with her catchphrases and the way she applied them was so unique and catchy.

the man who “made” Paris Hilton

Of course there are many more strange cases with trademarks that have arose in the past years. Here is a short list of the trademarks I found to be the most interesting.

  • the words “super hero” – co-owned by DC and Marvel
  • the sound of Law and Order‘s “dun dun”
  • the “Lightning Bolt” gesture by Usain Bolt
  • the phrase “this sick beat” – trademarked by Taylor Swift
  • the name Guy Fieri
  • the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing

The list above shows you that almost anything has the ability to be trademarked… even the most bizarre things.

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