| | | | | |
AUTHOR
Douglas Panzer
(610)797-9000
dpanzer@flblaw.com
January 29, 2015

Business Flexibility in Trademark Licensing as Taught by Taylor Swift

Posted By Douglas Panzer @ 4:27 pm
Filed under: Licensing,Music,Registration,Trademarks

Website Vox.com reported on January 28 (with a citation to Twitter user @imbeccable) that Taylor Swift has filed an application to register the trademark “This Sick Beat.” What most don’t know is this is just another step in Swift’s clearly well-advised operation of her growing business empire.

Swift presently has 100 live trademark registrations or applications (and a few dead ones). The marks even include registrations in 19 different classes for the name “Taylor Swift” or a stylized version of the name.

So why is this worthy of an intellectual property law blog entry? There is actually a good business lesson to be learned here.

From a legal practice note perspective, it’s interesting that Swift’s attorneys chose to file a separate application for each class of use for each mark. While not necessary, this certainly provides a very convenient mechanism – despite the initial data entry – for record keeping relating to, and potential licensing or assignment of, any of the individual registrations. The use of, for example, “Taylor Swift Fearless” could be easily licensed to one manufacturer by reference to the 3966410 registration, without any confusion regarding the right to use the mark on other classes of goods, while another manufacturer could be licensed to use the same mark on posters by reference to the 3966409 registration. Similarly, cancelation, abandonment, opposition or any other legal event affecting the registration itself remains contained to the individual registration.

And in case you’re wondering, registration and renewal fees would be the same whether filed as one application with multiple classes, or multiple registrations, each for a single class. Pretty good lawyering you got there, Taylor.

In case you’re curious, here are Taylor Swift’s current registrations and pending applications:

Taylor Swift Trademarks

Taylor Swift Trademarks

Taylor Swift Trademarks

Taylor Swift Trademarks

Taylor Swift Trademarks

(h/t Gretchen Geisser for cueing up this topic.)


Newsletter
* indicates required
Topics