Think Outside the Box: 7 Unconventional Things You Should Trademark

At CLARK.LAW, we believe in the future of business law. That comes with data, technology, and efficiency. Success in all three of those fields can rely heavily on thinking outside of the box. When it comes to trademark law, we all know how essential it is for your business to own rights to whatever sets your business apart from everyone else on the market. Thinking outside the box, it becomes clear that there is a lot more than just your name or your logo that makes your business unique.

It’s time to start branching out with your intellectual property and honing in on what really makes your business stand out from the crowd. Here are 7 surprising things that can be trademarked:


You don’t have to be able to see a trademark to register it. Darth Vader’s breathing, the Law and Order chime, and Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!” are all distinctive, federally protected sounds.


It isn’t just logos – if your product has a particularly distinctive and purposeful (as in, non-functional) shape, it can be trademarked. Just ask the Pringles® chip, the Hershey’s® kiss, or the Coke® bottle. It’s not their physical product that is trademarked – it’s their shape.


That’s right: all of the senses are represented. Like shapes, smells can be trademarked if they are not naturally occurring but rather made to distinguish your product. Examples include Play-Doh® scent and something Verizon calls “flowery musk” that permeates its stores.


Put it on the calendar! Event marks like the Boston Marathon®, the Relay For Life®, and the Macy’s Day Parade® are all registered, preventing others from holding the same events. If your business holds a recurring major, distinctive event, consider protecting it.


Target® red, Post-It® yellow, Tiffany® blue, and UPS brown are all unique color marks that are now registered and belong to the companies behind them.


There have even been a few cases of movements being trademarked: the Lamborghini® upward door-opening and Yamaha® water spray from the back of a Waverunner included.


It doesn’t always work with common phrases, but it has happened in the past: Taylor Swift trademarked the phrase THIS SICK BEAT®, Nintendo trademarked IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG®,  and Paris Hilton infamously trademarked THAT’S HOT®.

Start Standing Out From the Crowd

At CLARK.LAW, we want to help your company grow however makes sense for you – even if that includes registering the scent of your products. For more information, contact CLARK.LAW today. We will help you think outside the box.

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At CLARK.LAW, we’ve built a different type of law firm. Our attorneys and staff have impressive educational and professional experience – but, unlike traditional law firms, we embrace modern technology to create efficient workflows and processes. Today’s business leaders should have access to high-quality legal guidance without subjecting themselves to the waste and excessive overhead that plagues traditional law firms.

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