8 The Most Bizarre Trademark Applications

Trademarks typically protect brand names, logos, or specific catchphrases associated with a product or company. However, some trademark applications venture into truly peculiar territory. Here’s a look at some of the most bizarre trademark applications ever filed.

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 in its commercials, emphasized 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 covers alcoholic beverages and clothing, transforming a personal catchphrase 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. After facing multiple objections, this application was eventually withdrawn.

5. Naruto the Monkey’s Selfie

A highly unusual case involved a selfie taken by a macaque monkey named Naruto. Although this wasn’t a trademark application, it sparked debates about the rights animals may have in the digital era.

6. The Color Purple

While Tiffany & Co. successfully trademarked a specific shade of blue, the musician 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 evoke nostalgia for many, but Lansdowne Company attempted (unsuccessfully) to trademark this aroma for use in air fresheners and other products.

8. A Single Dot

In an attempt to corner the market on minimalist branding, a company applied to trademark a single dot. This application was rejected due to its lack of inherent distinctiveness.

Why Do People File Bizarre Trademark Applications?

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


The world of trademarks can be both fascinating and perplexing. 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 show that trademark applications can stretch into unexpected and quirky territories, blending legal strategies with pop culture and personal branding. Each case highlights the broad and sometimes humorous attempts at securing trademarks, challenging the limits of what intellectual property laws can protect.