Taylor Swift and Trade Marks – A Love Story

Written by William Miles | May 31, 2024

Trade Marks

Taylor Swift is known to be a prolific songwriter, indeed at the time of writing she has released 274 tracks. But did you know that she’s also a prolific trade mark filer? In fact, her management company, TAS Rights Management, LLC, is the proud owner of over 300 live trade mark registrations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Swift has secured her name (TAYLOR SWIFT), various song titles (LOVER, SHAKE IT OFF etc) a raft of album titles (REPUTATION, SPEAK NOW, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, etc) and even tour names (THE 1989 WORLD TOUR, TAYLOR SWIFT THE ERAS TOUR, etc) with various trade mark registrations.

However, she has also protected phrases such as this sick beat, LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, and nice to meet you, where you been? She’s even gone so far as to secure monopoly rights for the names of her cats, MEREDITH, OLIVIA & BENJAMIN SWIFT.

So why has she done this I hear you ask? Well, there are a number of possible benefits available to Swift (and anyone else for that matter) in registering a trade mark.

The first is perhaps the most obvious, a trade mark registration grants its owner a monopoly over the mark protected in relation to the goods and services covered. This monopoly is so powerful that it goes beyond someone using an identical mark in relation to identical goods/services and also protects you if a third party uses a confusingly similar mark in relation to similar goods/services. There is additional protection on offer if you have a mark with a large reputation in that you can also pursue third parties who use your mark/a similar mark in relation to non-related goods/services if they do so in order to profit from your reputation.

That’s pretty useful, but there’s more. Going through a trade mark application process is normally the best way to “clear” the register and assess your chosen trade mark against pre-existing trade marks. In the UK brand owners are invited to file a trade mark opposition if they object to a new trade mark application and dealing with third parties in this way usually results in some form of definitive outcome as to the future use of the mark. Essentially you don’t want to start using your brand name if it turns out it’s going to infringe someone else’s trade mark.

Finally, and this is often overlooked, a trade mark is a very important commercial asset. It’s often the first thing an investor in your business or a purchaser would look for as part of their due diligence and without securing the rights in your name it’s very hard to obtain the best possible price when you come to an exit.

If you’re planning to be the one of the world’s best-selling artists, or if you just have a brand that needs protecting, why not speak to one of our expert trade mark solicitors? Just email info@briffa.com to arrange a meeting.


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