Many news media currently report that Taylor Swift has trademarked parts from her lyrics, such as “this sick beat” and “we never go out of style”.
“Thinking about selling T-shirts with “This Sick Beat” or “Party Like Its 1989” emblazoned on the front? Well, think again, because the only person who can legally do so now is Taylor Swift.”
“This means you’ll need Swift’s permisison if you want to use any of those phrases on a whole host of stuff: aprons, “non-medicated” toiletries and — we kid you not — walking sticks.”
“Now that she owns the trademark, no one else can make T-shirts that say “This Sick Beat” and sell them outside of her stadium concerts without breaking the law. It’s a smart business move, even if it does seem a little bit silly.”
And MSN (copying Vox who “broke the news”):
“She also own the rights to “Party Like It’s 1989″, “‘Cause We Never Go Out of Style”, “Could Show You Incredible Things” and “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?””
They are all mistaken…
Taylor Swift has only filed an application for a trademark, which does not mean she has a trademark, nor that she will definitely have one in the future. It is now up to the US Patent and Trademark Office to decide whether Swift’s application complies with US trademark law. For instance, one of the requirements Swift’s mark must meet is that there is no “likelihood of confusion” between her mark and other registered trademarks.
Some media have already corrected their mistakes. For instance, The Guardian:
“This article was amended on 29 January to correct references to copyrights, which should have been trademarks, and to acknowledge that the trademarks have not yet been granted.”
You can keep an eye on all Taylor Swift’s trademark applications here.