Sep 6, 2017

Taylor Swift's trade mark applications

According to the BBC and several other news organisations, Taylor Swift has applied to register various lyrics from her new single, including the title "Look What You Made Me Do", as trade marks. The single is Taylor Swift's first UK number one single.

Under UK law, and in all jurisdictions under various guises, there are various statutory requirements that a mark must satisfy before it will be entered onto the register of trade marks. One of those is that a mark must be distinctive, partly to ensure that it can serve the function of a trade mark of designating the goods or services of an entity from those of others. One of the reasons this function exists is to protect what is sometimes referred to as the English language commons which should, in principle, be free for all to use. However, there are ways around this exception and each trade mark application will depend on particular circumstances and the classes of goods designated in the application.

A trade mark applicant can rely on either inherent or acquired distinctiveness but, ultimately, a mark that is devoid of distinctive character will be refused registration.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or

in: News, Trade Marks

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