Entertainment & Arts

Taylor Swift makes 'Swiftmas' trademark bid

Taylor Swift in concert Image copyright Graham Denholm
Image caption Taylor Swift's name, signature and initials have already received trademark protection.

Taylor Swift is seeking to trademark the word "Swiftmas" and "1989", the name of her album, in the US.

It is the 25-year-old's latest attempt to stop others from using phrases associated with her on merchandise.

"Swiftmas" is the word the singer's fans use to describe the random acts of kindness she makes, such as giving them unexpected presents.

Earlier this year Swift applied to trademark some of her song lyrics such as "this sick beat".

The pop star submitted her requests to the US Patent and Trademark Office on 3 December.

In her latest bid, the singer has added the song title "Blank Space" and lyric "And I'll write your name" to the list of applications.

The application for 1989 only applies to the date presented in a "stylised form" - imitating Swift's album cover.

She also wants to trademark the phrase "A girl named girl" which is reported to be the title of an unpublished book.

Her name, signature and initials have already received trademark protection.

Image copyright US Patent and Trademark Office
Image caption The singer has filed four applications on the use of the word 'Swiftmas'

'Publicity stunt'

If granted, the trademark would stop others from using the phrases on items such as clothing, stickers, bags and other merchandise.

Fiona McBride, a trademark lawyer at Withers & Rogers, told the BBC Swift's latest bid may not be successful.

"While she may well be granted protection for a stylised use of the number 1989 on her album and distinctive terms such as "Swiftmas", it will be very difficult to completely monopolise a song lyric and prevent others from using it," she said.

"To be granted trademark protection, brand owners need to prove a term or image is unique to their identity. 1989 as part of a stylised logo or script on Taylor Swift's album cover is iconic and in that format, is easily recognisable as individual to her music.

"'Swiftmas' is also a distinct term that she could achieve successful registration for as it is unique to her name and brand.

"On the other hand, her attempts to trademark song lyrics are no more than a publicity stunt."

Ms McBride added it would be more difficult to obtain trademark protection in the EU market.

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