Common Stuff People Have Tried To Trademark

Just because something is old as time doesn't mean you don't get to call dibs on it.
Common Stuff People Have Tried To Trademark

Some things have been around forever, and no one can own them or take credit for them -- things like sunshine, or singing when you're happy, or complaining that the young generation is coddled and the world is going to Hell. These things are as ambient as air, why drag lawyers and municipal governments into them? How much money do people even make off trademarks anyway? There's just no way, like, LeBron James gets a check every time some shack on the side of an Arizona highway decides to run a “Taco Tuesday” special, right? If so, there are more lawyers in the world than we thought.

Some people, however, will try to own those things -- sometimes even successfully (because as a matter of fact, the world has already gone to Hell long ago). As long as you have enough money (or little enough shame), you can get to own pretty much anything, as we're documenting here.

Harley Davidson wanted exclusive rights over THE SOUND OF A BIKE. - The motorcycle maker tried to get federal protection for every aspect of their bik
Source: Los Angeles Times
A former contractor refused to give up THE NAMES IN YOSEMITE PARK. - When a new company was hired to run the park’s concessions, the departing contrac
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Taylor Swift claimed ownership of THE YEAR 1989. - When Swift’s album 1989 came out, her management filed to trademark the number (though granted, onl
Source: The Independent
Some guy says he owns THE CONCEPT OF STEALTH. - Are you a ninja? Then you probably owe Leo Stoller money. This dude says he has a trademark on the wor
Source: The New York Times
The state of Georgia wanted you to pay to fully know the  LAW. - While the text of the law itself wasn’t copyrighted, relevant annotations added by th
Source: The New York Times
Donald Trump tried to trademark FIRING PEOPLE. - Back when he was doing The Apprentice, Trump applied to trademark his TV catchphrase, “You’re Fired.”
Source: The New York Times
McDonald’s apparently thought they owned SCOTTISH NAMES. -  The prefix “Mc” is part of many Scottish and Irish names -- which didn’t stop McDonald’s f
Source: CNN
Apple wants exclusivity over APPLES - The iPhone company hates it when you use an apple as your logo. They sued Australian retailer Woolworths over th
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
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