What Does Your Trademark Sound Like?


Most of us are aware that you can trademark a slogan, a logo, and a name, but did you know that it is also possible to trademark a sound? While it is still more difficult to protect a sound as a trademark, sounds have been increasingly used as trademarks in the marketplace.

Internationally, several countries have amended their trademark laws to include sounds, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Australia.

If you’ve been to the movies, and heard the MGM lion’s roar, or the THX “Deep Note” for its sound system before the movie starts, then what you’ve heard are both trademarks.

Technology companies are also using sounds, such as Intel’s 5 note ding/3 second chord sequence used with the Pentium processor, the spoken letters “AT&T” with a music background, and Nokia’s default ring tone are all trademarks.

You’ll even hear trademarked sounds for some well known consumer product brands including the Pillsbury Doughboys’ unique giggle (produced when Pop’n Fresh is poked in the stomach), and the Harley Davidson “Hog Call” engine rev (one of the most recognized sounds in the US).

Click this link and see if you recognize some of these trademark sounds.

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Rand Brenner Administrator
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid\'s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges, and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazines including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India.

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