A trademark can be defined as many things, including a symbol, name, word, or mascot. It is something that distinguishes your products, services and goods from competitors. While most people tend to think that companies request to trademark crucially important things, such as company names and logos, the truth of the matter is that there are some truly bizarre requests for trademark rights. Here are four of them:
Paris Hilton – "That's Hot"
Pairs Hilton, a popular former reality star and heir to the Hilton hotel chain, used a very popular phrase on her TV show: "That's hot". She ended up applying to trademark this phrase. Surprisingly, it was approved. Her current trademarks are for multi-media entertainment, clothing and alcoholic beverages. She pursued a lawsuit against Hallmark after they used her trademarked phrase and her image on a birthday card. She won.
Boise State University – Blue Football Field
Boise State University has had a blue football field for years. They decided to pursue an application for trademark rights of their blue turf, which is commonly known as the Smurf Turf. Boise State University had their application approved to trademark their unusually-colored football field. By owning the trademark rights to a blue football field, the university can maintain its uniqueness. Now, schools wanting a similar blue turf must request permission from Boise State.
Nicole Polizzi – "Snooki"
Even if you don't watch much television, you are probably aware of the reality show Jersey Shore. One of the main stars in the show, Nicole Polizzi, who goes by Snooki, decided to try and get rights to her nickname. Her application was rejected. Apparently, the name is already trademarked – even though it is spelled differently – by a cartoon cat in a kid's book who is called Snooky. In these situations, it's possible to appeal and change the classification for the trademark.
Anthony Davis – "Fear/Raise the Brow"
Most people who watch basketball are very familiar with Anthony Davis and his very popular unibrow. This is particularly true if you were watching college basketball back in 2012 – specifically the Kentucky Wildcats. The catchphrases "Fear the Brow" and "Raise the Brow" were very popular at that time. After his success, he filed an application with the U.S. Trademark Office for exclusive trademark rights to these phrases. He said that his unibrow is unique and he doesn't want anyone else making money off of his brow.
If you have invented something and you want to secure the rights to it, it is crucial that you visit with a trademark attorney as soon as possible.