Misunderstandings, mistakes, mistrust: trademark (mis)reporting in the media

By Tim Lince

Skewed coverage of trademarks in the mainstream media is translating into public confusion at best and heightened hostility towards intellectual property at worst. We investigate the extent of the problem and consider what stakeholders can do to redress the balance

“If any musician can get away with trademarking her lyrics, it’s Taylor Swift.” So declared Forbes magazine in an article last year about trademarks that the pop phenomenon had filed for certain phrases from her smash hit album 1989, including ‘This Sick Beat’ and ‘Party Like It’s 1989’. According to a report in UK newspaper the Daily Mail, the move meant that “no-one would be able to use the phrases without her approval”.

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