If you asked me, I genuinely thought that we we’d be leaving the whole “trademark business” in 2015. Don’t you know what the “trademark business” is? It’s a trend that, while not started by Taylor Swift, definitely escalated thanks to her. All you need to do is spend copious amounts of time on the Internet and forever damage your social life, in order to be up to date with all events that shake the world of entertainment. Unfortunately, going by my dark circles and incredibly limited circle of friends, I’m that person described before. That being said, I was right in the eye of the storm when Taylor, and now the infamous Fine Brothers, decided that they need to be paid for a combination of words and, worse, for the invention of a word that was never theirs to begin with. Believe it or not, it wasn’t Swift who filed the first request for a trademark. There have been many before her, though whether there will be more in the future is debatable given how badly the audiences take these things. Either way, these are 6 Crazy Celebrity Trademarks.
1. The Fine Brothers
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. They’re the reason this article exists, because no one had to face the wrath of their fans after filing a trademark request, the way the Fine Brothers had to. The YouTube duo started off with a rather promising premise: they wanted to launch React World, a project meant to bring their format all over the world by allowing us, the viewers, to participate. But then, they made the mistake of trademarking the word “react” and it was revealed that videos of the “reacting kind” were being taken down. The only way to produce them would be to direct some of your revenue to their company.
Needless to say, fans didn’t take it well. After the announcement was made, people started mass disliking every video they could and in less than five days, their subscriber count dropped with nearly one million. Since then, they took down the two videos that explained the concept and made a public apology on Twitter, though that doesn’t seem to convince the fans, who demand that the Fine Brothers upload a video of apology on YouTube.
2. Taylor Swift
The other elephant in the room is the artist who is responsible for turning trademarks into a new kind of Internet meme. After the success of her Shake It Off song, she decided that for the sake of merchandise she would trademark phrases like “this sick beat,” “party like it’s 1989” or “nice to meet you, where you been?” In her case, people on the Internet didn’t reciprocate with barrages of wrath, instead turning Taylor into a parody of herself that nowadays is the absolute synonym of the word “trademark.”
3. Beyonce & Jay-Z
When the world first heard that the power couple’s daughter’s name was going to be Blue Ivy, we were momentarily bedazzled. It was definitely a strange name and, in our defense, Kanye West’s and Kim Kardashian’s children weren’t around at that time to eclipse it. We grew used to it in time, with some people even taking the name for themselves to use it for their various businesses. An example is a woman who started in 2009 an event planning company named Blue Ivy, something that upset the two artists and convinced them to file a trademark for the name. Jay-Z later explained himself, by saying that his sole intention was to protect his daughter from people who try to profit off her name.
4. Paris Hilton
For this entry, we take a trip into the vintage section of our topic. Paris Hilton was one of the initiators of this growing trend, when she filed a trademark request for the phrase “that’s hot.” More than that, if you think that trademarks and patents are basically pointless (I mean, who checks these things, right?), then you need to reconsider. Paris clashed with the popular TV channel Hallmark back in 2009, when it supposedly used the infamous phrase on a birthday card. The dispute was settled one year later, without the intervention of a court, but I’m sure that should this happen again, Paris will immediately surface to fight for her rights.
5. Charlie Sheen
You guys remember Charlie Sheen, right? Good, because I don’t think he does (if you catch my drift). Back when Sheen was on a roll and every television and paparazzi in the world had their eyes on him, his media coverage and popularity seemed like the ideal moment for him to vacuum some money into his bank account. He filed trademark requests for not one, not two, not even close to three, but for twenty-two words and phrases! The most notorious one was, of course, the famous “duh, winning” phrase, which, thank God, died out along with Charlie Sheen’s career.
6. Donald Trump
Just when you were thinking Trump couldn’t be in any more articles, here he is! Before he became famous (and not in a good way) for his extremely controversial presidential campaign, he used to be a constant presence on TV through his well known contest show, Celebrity Apprentice. During the programme, he used the phrase “you’re fired,” which he eventually patented because he was, I don’t know, in dire need of more money, I guess? Can you blame him, though? He managed to survive his youth with just a small loan of a million dollars, it’s good to know that years later, he’s just as financially savvy. I guess employees everywhere have Trump to thank for the fact that they are now impossible to fire due to copyright issues.
Sometimes, with celebrities, you often need to question the nature of their intentions. Which of these trademarks had a solid reason that had nothing to do with finding a quick way to rip off money? Which of these were simply a reflection of the person’s ego? Whichever it is, these 6 Crazy Celebrity Trademarks definitely live up to their name. But more importantly, what kind of repercussions you reckon using all of them in one article has? See you all in court, I guess.