Charlie Sheen is effectively teaching us all about trademarks and showing that: (1) it is possible to trademark a phrase; (2) filing a trademark application early helps to establish priority trademark rights against infringers; and (3) trademarks are valuable intellectual property that are best protected with formal registration.
Now that he’s lost his $1.8 million dollar per episode gig, Charlie Sheen is moving on to legal pastures with trademark registration applications–filed by Hyro-gliff, a company with ties to the former Two and a Half Men star–for 22 of his recent notable quotes. Among the phrases are: Duh, Winning, Vatican Assassin, Tiger Blood, Rock Star from Mars, Sober Valley Lodge, and Sheen’s Goddesses.
Sheen's applications seek protection for the production and sale of a whole slew of products including clothing, drinks, games, candy and slot machines. According to his website, wait time on these products is backed up due to high demand. Hopefully his trademark attorney performed an extensive trademark availability search before he started generating income off the sale of these products, otherwise he may be subject to claims of infringement or even trademark litigation.
According to reports, Sheen isn’t the only one learning how to trademark a phrase – others have recently registered marks such as “Winning!”, “Uh Winning”, “World Wide Winning Connections” and “Who’s Winning?” in an attempt to capitalize on his dialect, keeping the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) busy reviewing Sheenisms, their proposed classes and intended uses. A cursory search of trademark applications for TIGER BLOOD shows that many others are trying to capitalize off of the phrase.