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. 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.


Columbia Pictures claimed to own PIXELS. - Remember Adam Sandler’s Pixels? When it came out, the studio had any video they could find containing the wSource: Mashable


Ohio State University wanted to own THE WORD “THE.” - Insisting that they are The Ohio State University, they applied to trademark the definite articlSource: Above the Law


Harley Davidson wanted exclusive rights over THE SOUND OF A BIKE. - The motorcycle maker tried to get federal protection for every aspect of their bikSource: Los Angeles Times


Trey Songz and David Hester fought over THE WORD “YUUUP!” - It barely qualifies as a word -- and yet, the rapper and the star of Storage Wars actuallySource: Hollywood Reporter


Syracuse University claimed THE COLOR ORANGE. - Syracuse filed for a federal trademark on the word “orange” in 2006 -- leading to a clash with other uSource: Inside Higher Ed


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 contracSource: San Francisco Chronicle


Kim Kardashian attempted to trademark KIMONOS. - “Kimono Solutionwear,” was the name Kardashian wanted for a line of shapewear. She changed her mind aSource: Insider


The makers of Candy Crush Saga say only they are allowed to use CANDIES. (Or sagas.) - When vikings invented sagas, candies were already old -- but KiSource: Polygon


Paris Hilton apparently invented HOT THINGS. - Hilton trademarked her, well, trademark uttering, “That’s Hot!” -- and sued Hallmark for printing it onSources: Justia Trademarks, Reuters


Taylor Swift claimed ownership of THE YEAR 1989. - When Swift’s album 1989 came out, her management filed to trademark the number (though granted, onlSource: The Independent


Only the New England Patriots are allowed to celebrate A PERFECT FOOTBALL SEASON. - While the Patriots failed to have a perfect season in 2008, they sSource:


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 worSource: 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 thSource: 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 fSource: 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 thSource: The Sydney Morning Herald