Ten Studio Albums. Five Tours. Two Re-Recordings. One Massive Fanbase. We know all too well that Taylor Swift is the pinnacle of success for the music industry. Spanning multiple genres from country to pop and even some folk(lore), Taylor Swift has accomplished a lot in her first 32 years of life. But what’s gotten her to this level of recognition?
Some say it’s her songs. Some say it’s her stage presence. Others say it’s her re-recordings. Taylor Swift says it could be her songs, “with a catchy hook and an intensely cathartic bridge section.” Call it what you want, I say her level of recognition comes from her fearless team of lawyers registering her trademarks.
Popularity is inherently a good thing for brands. You want everyone to know the name of your product, right? What if too much popularity was a bad thing? As it turns out, too much popularity can kill your trademark rights, in a process called genericide.
If Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo (painters or turtles) were to decide to paint something together, who gets to hold the brush? In Intellectual Property (IP) terms, working with multiple parties with competing IP interests can feel like many artists working on the same canvas. Let me provide some backstory before I answer this question.
A. The smell of Play-Doh B. Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map password, “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” C. The basketball sensation around Jeremy Lin, “Linsanity” D. Paris Hilton’s catchphrase, “that’s hot”