Richard Rochford in Billboard Magazine: The Real Reason Behind Taylor Swift Trying to Trademark 'This Sick Beat'

02/06/2015

Although she's notoriously protective of her brand, Taylor Swift isn't known to be especially litigious. But the singer has been on a trademark tear, attempting to register a handful of phrases in advance of her 1989 World Tour, which launches in Tokyo on May 5 ...

The move itself isn't unusual. Such artists as Britney Spears and Beyoncé have attempted to trademark a popular song title ("Toxic") or an alter ego ("Sasha Fierce"), a corporate strategy that Richard Rochford, a partner in New York's intellectual property litigation group Haynes and Boone, likens to Swift "marking her territory.Rochford explains that unlike copyright law, trademark rights don't require the phrases to be absolutely unique or for the applicant to have coined them personally. Therefore, obtaining the rights requires an artist to prove that they're profiting off of a phrase associated with their brand. In Swift's case, that could mean she has already manufactured, say, a "Shake It Off" salt-and-pepper set. Adds Rochford, "She's saying she wants the ability to make money off of the things she's created. Whether the net she's cast is too wide remains to be seen."

Excerpted from Billboard Magazine. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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