Trademark frenzy: Charlie Sheen claims 22 phrases

Remember our conversation about names and trademarks? Maybe you do and maybe you don’t. Charlie Sheen obviously does. The #Winning media creation has filed, or rather has had Hyro-gliff, a company he has ties to, file trademark applications for 22 catchphrases and names according to Time magazine’s News Feed and other media reports. (A TESS search this morning found that Hyro-gliff has filed 24 trademark applications.)

It is unlikely that Sheen himself coined all 22 phrases he is seeking trademarks. Some were undoubtedly conceived by the writers and creative people he has worked with during his career.  But it could be argued that in his delivery of those phrases he has made them his own and therefore has every right to protect and profit from them.

The problem is this: he isn’t the only one to use all of these phrases. A basic search of existing trademarks including applications that have been filed reveals that some of the key phrases Sheen seeks to claim as his own have also been claimed by others and, in some cases are already registered trademarks. For instance, 18 trademark applications have been filed for “Tiger Blood” alone. Two uses of “Tigers Blood”, as a tobacco product (2010) and a drink syrup (2008) are already registered trademarks. Hyro-gliff has also filed trademark applications for what could be considered common phrases like “Defeat is not an option”, “You’ve been warned” and even just the word “Winning”.

All of which raises the question: has Sheen gone to yet another extreme in attempting to claim ownership not just of unique phrases like “Sheen’s Korner” but also claiming words and phrases already (arguably) part of our everyday lexicon?

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