Actor Charlie Sheen has decided to trademark 22 phrases that have come to be associated with his recent public persona. The phrases include “Duh, Winning,” “Tiger Blood,” “Vatican Assassin” and’ “Rock star from Mars.” A company called Hyro-Gliff is handling the patent applications for Sheen, but what process must one go through in order to be “Winning” when it comes to trademarks?
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is defined as a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one party from those of others. Fair to say, when people hear the phrase “Duh, Winning,” they are thinking of Charlie Sheen.
A trademark is not the same as a patent or copyright. Copyright protects original artistic or literary work, i.e songs, movies, novels and the like. A patent protects an invention like a vacuum, a DVD player, or a coffee maker, for example. Thus, if you hear someone say Charlie Sheen has “patented” the phrase “Vatican Assassin,” feel free to call that person a troll.
Rock Stars from Mars don’t have to have a trademark
Again according the US Patent and Trademark Office, Sheen and Hyro-Gliff did not have to register trademarks on Sheen’s catchphrases for him to continue to make money off of them. However, the trademark gives Sheen the advantage of being able to legally prevent others from cashing in on the phrases he has made so very popular.
The trademark will also allow Sheen to take his phrases international. Registering a trademark in the U.S is the first step to registering a trademark globally. Also, there will not be any foreign “Tiger Blood” knock-offs coming to the U.S in the near future. The U.S Customs and Border Protection Service will prevent foreign companies from importing goods sporting Sheen’s many phrases without his authorization.
Even Warlocks have limitations
So, now that Sheen has his trademarks, how can he use them? The USPTO guidelines do show that there are limitations to exactly what products can be “winning.” Sheen and Hyro-Gliff had to register the trademarks for specific products including t-shirts, hats, sweaters, shot glasses, lighters, and ash trays and even for use in a possible Charlie Sheen videogame.
Many of these items are already available on Sheen’s official website and the hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and the like are also available to fans attending Sheen’s “Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour” which kicked off in Detroit on April 1 to less-than -“Winning” reviews but has since played on to standing ovations in Chicago and Cleveland.
Gina DiFalco “Charlie Sheen Seeks to Trademark 22 of his Most Popular Phrases” TheCelebrityCafe.com
David Rooney “Five Most Awkward Moments of Charlie Sheen’s Detroit Show” HollywoodReporter.com
Jeffrey Marcus “Arts Beat: Charlie Sheen Turns Things Around in Chicago” The New York Times
Aaron Foley “Video: Charlie Sheen Continues Rebound Streak in Cleveland; Is Second Detroit Show in the Works?” MLive.com