The Most Bizarre Trademark Applications Ever Filed

In the world of intellectual property, trademarks are typically employed to protect brand names, logos, or specific catchphrases closely associated with a product or company. However, the arena of trademark applications isn't just limited to conventional filings; it also includes some truly peculiar attempts. Here's a look at some of the most bizarre trademark applications ever filed.

Top 8 The Most Bizarre Trademark Applications

1. Apple’s Catchphrase

Apple Inc., known for its innovative technology, once applied to trademark the phrase "There's an app for that." This catchphrase, popularized through its commercials, epitomized the vast array of applications available on Apple devices.

2. Paris Hilton’s “That’s hot”

Socialite and reality TV star Paris Hilton successfully trademarked her signature phrase "That's hot." This trademark applies to alcoholic beverages and clothing, showing how a personal catchphrase can turn into a profitable branding tool.

3. Donald Trump’s “You’re fired!”

Donald Trump trademarked the phrase "You're fired!" from his reality show "The Apprentice." This trademark was intended for use on casino services and board games.

4. Harley Davidson’s Engine Roar

In an unconventional move, motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson attempted to trademark the distinctive sound of their V-twin motorcycle engines. This application was eventually withdrawn after facing multiple objections.

5. Naruto the Monkey’s Selfie

In a highly unusual case, a dispute arose over the copyright of a selfie taken by a macaque monkey named Naruto. While a trademark application was not filed, this case prompted discussions about the rights animals may have in the digital era.

6. The Color Purple

While Tiffany & Co. successfully trademarked a specific shade of blue, Prince famously tried (and failed) to trademark the color purple in association with his music and merchandise.

7. The Smell of Fresh-Cut Grass

Fresh-cut grass might be a nostalgic scent for many, but Lansdowne Company attempted (unsuccessfully) to trademark this particular aroma for use in air fresheners and other products.

8. A Single Dot

Hoping to corner the market on minimalist branding, a company applied to trademark a single dot. This application was rejected as it lacked any inherent distinctiveness.

Why Do People File Bizarre Trademark Applications?

There can be several reasons behind these unusual filings. Sometimes, it's a genuine attempt to protect a unique element associated with a brand. Other times, it might be a publicity stunt to garner attention. In some cases, the applicant might misunderstand trademark law, leading to overly broad or impractical applications.


The world of trademarks can be fascinating and occasionally baffling.  While some applications raise eyebrows, others push the boundaries of intellectual property law and can even redefine what can be trademarked.  The next time you encounter a catchy slogan or a unique sound, remember, it might just be someone's attempt at securing a bizarre trademark.

These examples illustrate that the scope of trademark applications can sometimes stretch into unexpected and quirky territories, blending legal strategies with pop culture and personal branding. Each case underscores the broad and sometimes humorous attempts at securing trademarks, pushing the boundaries of what intellectual property laws can protect.