Ohio State Wants To Own The Word “The” And Other Wild Trademarks
It’s a wild world out there filled with sayings and words we use almost every day. But did you know that there are corporations out there who own the words coming out of your mouth? Don’t worry, those big guys can’t touch you as long as you don’t start a business with their exact logo and phrasing… and color, apparently.
This list of some of the weirdest and most obscure words that are trademarked will have you scratching your head and wondering how someone ever let a business trademark “hello.” Seriously? Freedom ain’t free baby.
Ohio State Wants To Own “The.” Yeah, The.
According to NPR, Ohio State University recently filed a trademark application for the word “THE” because alumni and students often refer to the university as “THE” Ohio State University.
As if universities aren’t already sneaking hidden fees into everything from your classes to your fair-trade iced coffee, now they’re trying to trademark the English language’s most popular word. Sure it’s in all caps, but we’ve all seen the giant “THE” above most storefronts. Since the word alone sits in front of THE OSU’s name and it’s a brand or label in itself, attorneys don’t think the application will go through.
Adele Watch Yourself Because “Hello” Isn’t Technically Yours
Maybe just as weird as “the” is a corporation staking a claim on the word “hello.” Yeah, you know the popular greeting we all say every day to literally everyone in our lives? Well, it belongs to Highlights Children’s Magazine –– the very same one you read at recess as a kid.
Specifically, they own the word “hello” in their special highlights font. The font is called “Humdinger” so watch out for this sneaky trademark the next time you start a doorbell installation business called “Hello Humdinger.”
If You Have No Name, That’s Trademarked Too
This is a pretty beloved nameless brand in Canada. The “no name” brand is trademarked by Loblaws and provides grocery store food items that are generic as its name suggests. Their white vinegar is even marketed as “transparent.”
So next time you’re sitting under the swinging lightbulb brainstorming company names by yourself because your business partner has gone out for their 5th smoke break in an hour, just remember failure is not an option. No name is alive, thriving, and selling cans of beans with the slogan “contains numerous beans.”
Taylor Swift Has A Long List Of Bizarre Trademarked Sayings
Look what you made us do Taylor. Your eager legal team who are trigger happy with the trademarks have landed you on this list. If you think trademarking song lyrics is weird, just know the ones she owns are weirder.
Swift owns “Party Like It’s 1989,” “This Sick Beat,” “‘Cause We Never Go Out of Style,” “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been,” and “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.” Taylor, please get off the phone with your lawyers, we need to call someone about this weird drive you have to trademark everything.
Tom Brady Really Went And Trademarked This Bizarre Nickname
So, you might have heard Tom Brady’s nickname “Tom Terrific,” or maybe you haven’t since it really hasn’t caught on. Apparently, Brady and his team filed the trademark application for a bunch of different clothing and collectibles so they’re probably starting a merchandise brand with the name.
This is the equivalent to that kid in high school you called “Big Tony” once as a joke and he immediately changed his Facebook name to it and told everyone to call him that. But we never did, it just doesn’t work.
The Age-Old Candy Manufacturer Battle Over The Color Purple
When you think of age-old rivalries, you probably think of the battle between good and evil, Orcs vs. everyone else in Lord of the Rings, and moms in vans vs. small parking spaces. You don’t think about Cadbury and Nestle waging war over the color purple.
Cadbury attempted to trademark its specific purple, you know the one, which Nestle opposed. The two companies went to court over the issue a few times and ultimately Cadbury had to stop trying to trademark the color.
This Harry Potter Phrase Almost Got Trademarked
“I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good” recently almost became the t-shirt at the knock-off stand at the beach that was taken off the racks. Warner Bros. recently filed a claim for the popular mantra that all us rebellious children said as we jaywalked.
They were denied because the slogan was too informational and Warner Bros. don’t own the Prisoner of Askaban book rights. But, Warner Bros. can easily talk to Rowling about letting them use it and will definitely fight the verdict to get this slogan on snowglobes everywhere. All us muggles are staying tuned.
Another Chocolate War Over A Random Thing To Trademark That’ll Make Your Problems Feel Valid
Hersey recently threw on the boxing gloves and stepped into the ring when they noticed another chocolate giant Ferrero was encroaching on their kiss empire. That just ain’t it. Hersey called for blood when they opposed Ferrero’s application to trademark the German phrase “KÜSSCHEN” which translates to “a little kiss.”
The dust hasn’t settled yet, but it’s clear that the confectionary world is full of drama and we need to pay attention to it already. Forget about left Twix and right Twix, this is the real world trademark arena where champions are born.
Nike Heard About This New Fangled Bitcoin And Thought They’d Better Grab A Piece Of The Pie
Nike saw that everyone was buying things with fake money so they thought hey, if a fancy internet company can make a currency then we can too. Meet “Crytpokicks” the newest cryptocurrency to hit the market that you probably won’t use.
Nike filed the trademark application for this wild name with the intent on creating currency for online shoppers to buy goods and services. So get ready to grab your state-of-the-art Air Force Ones using Nike’s version of digital Monopoly money.
Do We Really “Trust The Process” On This One
Joel Embiid, the Philadephia 76ers center, really went and applied to trademark every student athlete’s favorite saying they add to their Instagram bio. Case and point, his Instagram bio reads “Joel ‘The Process’ Embiid.” Since he trusts the patent process he’s included “PROCESSING” under the slogan.
Embiid is currently fighting Marcus Lemonis from CNBC for “Trust The Process” since Lemonis owns the slogan. All Embiid can do is wait and take his own advice on this one.
On Wednesdays, We Wear Green Jackets Because That One Is Still Un-Trademarked
Augusta National recently decided that just owning the trademark to the phrase “green jacket” wasn’t enough for them and they needed to trademark an actual green jacket. If you’re confused about how this would work in the lawyer land and whether that meant businesses couldn’t see green jackets or just photos of them, don’t worry, everyone else is too.
The United States Patent Office refused the application since the green jacket was too distinct and general, but Augusta can always apply again. Whew, luckily our non-descript green jackets are safe for now.
There’s No Scents To Trying To Trademark The Smell Of Strawberries
If you thought scents were safe from the random whims of corporations looking to make some coin, think again. In 2005, the scent of strawberries was applied to be trademarked by a French company called Eden Sarl. They lost the trademarked battle, obviously.
Actually, what do strawberries even smell like? We know they have a taste, but a smell? They smell like nothing to us. European courts disagreed and ruled that the fruit has 5 different smells. Okay, European strawberries, what are you doing?
Kawhi Leonard And New Balance Have Been Up To Something
After his memorable shot that bounced 4 times on the rim while he played for the Toronto Raptors during the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Kawhi Leonard and New Balance got cooking in the trademark department. The popular athletic brand trademarked “4 Bounces” the day after the game to produce merchandise.
Not to be the buzzkill, but since Toronto, Leonard’s former fanbase and the team he bounced 4 for, is still upset after he skipped town for the LA Clippers, the future of “4 Bounces” looks uncertain.
Your Reaction Is Trademarked. So React Accordingly.
YouTube stars The Fine Brothers are well known for their reaction channel where they literally film anyone and everyone reacting to internet stuff. That’s the content. They’ve done kids, YouTubers, seniors, and teens, just to name a couple. Their videos were so popular a trend started on YouTube where creators would post reaction-style videos themselves.
The Fine Brothers decided that since they were doing well they should apply to trademark the word “react.” Obviously, this flopped since you can’t own a reaction. The scary part is that if this application was approved they could take down and sue other YouTubers.
That Freshmen Event “Frosh-Chella” You Attended 6 Years Ago Just Got A Cease And Desist
All the ‘chellas beware because Coachella is done with your plagiarism. You guys don’t even have a Snapchat geotag. The owners of the “COACHELLA” trademark have started coming after similar music and other live festivals ending in “chella.”
So like, don’t post an Instagram at Economychella, the music festival for people who don’t ride coach but instead choose escape or economy fare, because they may get sued. Peace, love, and avoidance of copyright infringement everyone.
You Can’t Just Dance In Video Games Like You Used To These Days
Making video game characters dance is almost as fun as the game itself –– it’s just not sacred. Watch out because putting the “Carlton,” aka Carlton Banks’ signature dance move from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in a game may land you in some legal hot water.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who plays Carlton, sued Fortnite the video game for featuring his moves because he thinks he owns it. Copyright ownership of dance moves is a complete legal grey area, but the 10 other video games using his move are definitely sipping their water quietly in the corner right now.
The Candyman Can’t Even Trademark “Candy”
Everyone, including your grandmother with a smartphone, hopped on the Candy Crush mobile game train when it first came out. We were all crushing those sparkly multicolored fruits and candies for the sole purpose of serotonin. The game was so addicting the makers tried to trademark “candy, “crush,” and “saga.”
Despite how epic calling a mobile game about candy a “saga” sounds, the trademark application didn’t go as smoothly. They succeeded in trademarking “candy” in Europe (how?) but failed in the US. Those sweet dreams were crushed.
Be Afraid Because This Trademark May Mean “iHOB” Is Coming Back
So we all remember when iHOP changed their name temporarily to iHOB for a marketing stunt right? Or did you block that particularly traumatic event from your memory? Well, get ready for some resurfacing because iHOP went so far as to apply for trademarking the name and that could mean big things.
They probably won’t get it since iHOB is no longer an active brand, but if they really wanted to keep it then they could become the burger chain again. iHOB may rise once more, and this time it’s coming with a vengeance.
You Knew This, But Blac Chyna Will Legally Never Be A Kardashian
We all remember the Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian drama. You know, when they got together definitely not out of spite towards Tyga, Chyna’s ex and baby daddy, and Kylie Jenner, Rob’s half-sister, who were dating. Their tumultuous relationship made waves in the tabloids and eventually the US Patent Office.
When Chyna was engaged to Rob, she attempted to get in on the billion-dollar Kardashian name by attempting to trademark “Angela Renée Kardashian” to sell entertainment services. The Kardashians opposed the application and Chyna was denied. They also didn’t get married, but this trademark drama is spicier.
There’s Nothing “Good” About This Trademark
This super descriptive name is right up there with “Hello” and “THE” –– a hemp candy brand has trademarked the word “Good” as their company name. Hopefully, they’re not active trademark enforcers because this is way too popular.
The actual candies, chocolates, and wellness products are probably… good, but this name makes this brand near impossible to find. Go ahead, Google “Good hemp candy” and you’ll get page after page of people voicing their opinions on gummy bears and chocolate bars. Mellow is yellow, man.