Updated: May 10
1. Usain Bolt’s ‘lightning bolt’ gesture
USPTO Registration no.: 4177904; Owner: Usain St. Leo aka Usain Bolt
The world-renowned sprinter Usain Bolt has registered a trademark for his signature ‘lightning bolt’ or ‘to di world’ gesture. As per the registration document, Bolt applied for a gesture that depicts a man with one arm extended and pointing upward and the other arm raised and pointing at the back of his head. This gesture made its first appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has since become his victory gesture which has been tried by celebrities around the world and even made its way into commercials.
2. This Sick Beat by Taylor Swift
USPTO Registration no.: 5142230; Owner: TAS Rights Management, LLC
It is no secret the lengths to which pop singer Taylor Swift goes to protect her intellectual property rights. In fact, in 2012, she became the first singer to register a trademark for song lyrics for catchphrases from a number of her songs including ‘This sick beat’, ‘Nice to meet you, where you been?’ and ‘Party like it's 1989’for paper goods and printed products which suggests protection of her merchandising rights.
3. Darth Vader’s breath
USPTO Registration no.: 3618322; Owner: Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. LLC
Darth Vader is a character from the popular science fiction franchise – Star Wars. He had a unique breathing sound, almost mechanical in nature. The producer of the Star Wars movies, Lucasfilm trademarked the sound of Darth Vader’s under-the-helmet breath in 2008. The trademark application suggests that this is a non-visual trademark that was made using a scuba tank regulator.
4. Lamborghini’s car door opening
USPTO Registration no.: 2793439; Owner: Automobili Lamborghini S.P.A.
Who knew that the motion of a car door opening could be trademarked? Well, turns out, if you are a luxury car like Lamborghini, you sure can. The doors of most cars swing open outward, but Lamborghini’s car door opens upward. This distinguishes it from its competitors, which was recognized by the company that trademarked the motion using a graphic representation showcasing the same.
5. Grape scented lubricants for combustion engines
USPTO Registration no.: 2568512; Owner: Power Plus Lubricants, LLC
Imagine if you never had to smell the greasy unpleasant smell of grease and oil for equipment and instead were greeted with strawberry, cherry, grape, and other fruity flavors. That’s right, fruity lubricants are marketed today as fuel fragrances and there are close to 20 different varieties of these lubricants, out of which only three including the grape scent are registered as trademarks. The grape scented lubricant was registered in 1998 and is possibly one of the oldest smell trademarks to exist today.